FD (Faculty Development)
The background to the focus on FD and higher education policy
FD is proposed as a solution to the problem of how to improve university education to the extent required. The changing social issues of declining birth rates, increasing university entrance, the internationalization of the higher education market require proactive responses to improve university education and ensure the quality of education.
Ensuring the quality of education effectively means ensuring the quality of our students, but this is an extremely difficult thing to measure. For this reason, educational processes and the University’s educational capabilities are important factors, and the promotion of activities to improve education are significantly affected by the university’s ability to self-improve, and by the operation of the PDCA cycle.
With the elimination of the Faculty of Liberal Arts, which has been taking place since the 1990s, many universities have established Educational Development Centers, which have taken on the role of faculty development. Despite the fact that regulations have been introduced requiring third party evaluation, however, it has not always been the case that universities have implemented significant improvements.
- 1998:University Council Report (obligatory under ministerial ordinance in 1999)
- Fiscal 2003: Professional graduate school establishment criteria (obligatory)
- Fiscal 2007: Graduate school establishment criteria (obligatory)
- Fiscal 2008: University establishment criteria (obligatory)
- *Ideals for 21st Century Universities and Future Reform Strategies – Universities where Individuality Flourishes amid a Competitive Environment (Report)
From the national strategic point of view, too, FD has gone beyond the level of introduction and recommendation, and is now required within establishment criteria. This obligation does not mean that individual faculty members have to take part in FD activities, but that the University as an organization is required to implement them.
Categories and attributes of FD
University establishment criteria include the following: “A university must assist faculty and administrative staff to acquire necessary knowledge and skill to ensure proper and effective operation of education and research activities of the University. A university conducts training as well as other needed measures to improve their ability and qualities (except training which is set out on the next page).” (Article 11:1), “A university must conduct training and research at an organizational level in order to ensure improvements in their teaching content and methods.” (Article 11:2), “A university must conduct necessary training for assistant teachers (not faculty).” (Article 11:3) This is only partially related to FD in the university establishment criteria. The scope of the phrase “faculty development,” however, is usually understood in a broader meaning, and can be taken to mean the diverse range of organizational measures implemented by a university to ensure that its education and learning effectiveness is improved.
This diverse range of activities can be classified into three areas: (1) Instructional development (ID) measures for faculty members, to improve their teaching and guidance abilities, (2) Curriculum development (improvement) (CD) measures and (3) Organizational development (OD) measures to improve the effectiveness of education.
ID is the area indicated by establishment criteria, and could be said to represent a narrow definition of FD, in that it aims to improve teaching and guidance methods.CD relates to the organizational aspects of education such as curriculum. The activity of a department prior to adopting GP, for example, is a type of CD.OD is related directly to the organization. The creation of a new educational organization involving graduate school and faculty systems is a typical example of OD.
|Instructional Development: Improving the educational (teaching and guidance)||abilities of faculty members Lesson evaluation, lesson observation, teaching materials, syllabus, IT, teaching methods etc.|
|Curriculum Development||Initial year education, career education, coursework, program development, etc|
|Organizational Development: Organizational development (improvement) to improve educational effectiveness||Establishment/improvement of undergraduate departments and courses, university education center, lecture systems etc.|
|Professional Development: career building for faculty members||Newly appointed staff, faculty evaluations, research ethics, research fees, intellectual property, harassment|
From another perspective, a broad definition of FD could be understood to include PD, which supports the career formation of faculty members.
In FY 2008, the Education Innovation Initiative formulated the "Kyushu University Educational Management Framework" as a university-wide guideline to promote learner-oriented education. In line with this policy, we are improving the environment to support the advancement of education in each undergraduate school and graduate school, and are systematically implementing FD to further improve education.
Measures in departments
Various undergraduate departments, graduate schools and centers implement their own individual FD activities in regard to the issues they face, under the guidance of those Committee members related to FD and educational administration. Frequency of activities depends on the department in question. They may be held several times per year, or monthly.
FD formats include inviting external lecturers for study meetings, as well as workshops within departments to evaluate classes or analyze questionnaires, and other formats as required to comply with the objectives of FD.