ncu-winter-2017-profile-center-for-teaching-learning-provides-virtual-networking-space-for-students-and-faculty

Center for Teaching & Learning Provides
Virtual Networking Space for Students and Faculty

Written by Dena Roché

Networking used to be about having an elevator speech, a business card and the courage to approach strangers at meet-and-mingle events. At Northcentral University, Dr. Kelley Walters, Director, Center for Teaching & Learning, is redefining how NCU colleagues interact through the Center for Teaching & Learning (CTL).

Kelley Walters Dr. Kelley Walters

“The most important part of our department is networking,” said Walters. “Relationship-building is extremely important, and it can sometimes be hard to navigate in a virtual environment. One purpose for the Center for Teaching & Learning is to serve as an area where faculty, staff, and students can go for resources and information.”

Launched in September 2016, the Center for Teaching & Learning – NCU’s new virtual space for faculty, staff and students – is housed in The Commons. Similar online areas in the past were utilized by faculty, but this new iteration is all-inclusive.

“One of our goals in CTL is a focus on engagement. We are working to help encourage student-to-student, faculty-to-student, and faculty-to-faculty engagement” said Walters. “In addition to The Commons, where these groups can come together, we provide webinars and workshops that feature faculty expertise.”

Walters plans to use the Center as a place where faculty can highlight their publications, and create more opportunities for cross-School collaboration. There is a faculty-only section of the Center, where colleagues can communicate with each other and with the Center’s team.

“Relationship-building is extremely important, and it can sometimes be hard to navigate in a virtual environment. One purpose for the Center for Teaching & Learning is to serve as an area where faculty, staff, and students can go for resources and information.”

Dr. Kelley Walters, Director, Center for Teaching & Learning

“We always welcome suggestions for new resources that faculty, staff or students would find useful,” said Walters. “We’re working on a form for faculty and staff to suggest training.”

“We interface with various stakeholders to determine student needs. For example, we meet each month with the Assistant Deans and Associate Directors of each School, so I can keep a pulse on what they think the faculty needs,” said Walters.

Since launching in the fall, the Center has focused almost exclusively on training, which is another of the Center’s significant mandates.

As part of her role, Walters serves as a subject matter expert and primary instructor for faculty training courses using NCU’s ‘Teaching by Engagement’ pedagogical model.

Walters, along with her four-person team, recently wrote and trained faculty, staff and students in the new doctoral student experience (DSE). The team also created a training course for faculty, and tutorials for students, on the new NCUOne Learning Management System (LMS). Once training programs, videos and collateral are created, they are housed in a virtual library, which is easily accessible by anyone through the Center.

Walters is focusing on using the Center to make cutting-edge research and information, culled from many different sources, available to NCU faculty and students. She also hopes that it will be a place where NCU can share resources, events and maintain a calendar of conferences offered worldwide that pertain to NCU subject areas.

“I especially liked the idea that the position broadened my horizons and allowed me to apply my experience as an educator to training and development.”

Dr. Kelley Walters

Michigan-based Walters was tapped to lead the Center after an illustrious career in education. For the past two years, she served as the Director of Curriculum for NCU’s School of Education, and she has been a part-time teaching and dissertation faculty member since 2006. The newly-created position leading the Center was the next step in her career evolution.

“I especially liked the idea that the position broadened my horizons and allowed me to apply my experience as an educator to training and development,” Walters said. “I love that I get to develop a department that brings students, staff and faculty together.”