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Center for Faculty Excellence

National Faculty Meeting (NFM)


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Walden faculty and staff presenters will be sharing their knowledge, expertise, and research with their colleagues during the Winter 2020 meeting. This will take the form of the Innovative Teaching Practices Showcase.

The Innovative Teaching Practices Showcase gives faculty and staff the chance to showcase the great ideas they are incorporating into the classroom to enhance student learning. Presenters are setup at booths where they can discuss their ideas, provide demonstrations, and answer participant questions.


Introducing APA’s Seventh Edition: Changes, Timelines, and Support for the Switch
Presented by Amber Cook and Tobias Ball

In October 2019, American Psychological Association (APA) released the seventh edition of its Publication Manual. Because of Walden’s reliance on this manual as the style guide for all student writing, all faculty and students will need to acquaint themselves with the guideline changes that come with this new edition. In this presentation, two longtime Writing Center leaders will provide highlights of these changes, information about university timelines for implementing them, and resources to support you and your students with this transition. Participants will also receive a handout outlining the key guideline changes and opportunities for further training.

Empowering Change Through Experiences Abroad
Presented by Angela Lira, Kristen Beyer, and Eric Hickey

Gain insights into the value of student experiences abroad and how participating in an educational experience in a foreign country can promote lifelong learning, expand student horizons, and create unique mentorship opportunities. We will share stories of how participation in the Jamaica Public Service Trip and the Madrid, Spain, Forensic Psychology Intensive have inspired participants to change their professional outlook, establish a nonprofit organization, consider new topics of research, and more. Learn about upcoming trips and how you can partner with the Center for Global, Professional, and Applied Learning.

MyFaculty Podcasts: By Faculty, For Faculty
Presented by Angela Lohr and Ashley Burton

Podcasts are part of a new wave to accessing and sharing information. Unlike webinars, podcasts are noted for their conversational nature where hosts and interviewees can speak freely on a topic they are passionate about. Meanwhile, the listeners can obtain new knowledge while cooking, exercising, driving, and more. Enter MyFaculty Podcasts, a WaldenU faculty-facing podcast channel by Walden faculty and staff to share experiences and research. Individual faculty contributors and Walden center and college playlist owners make this podcast channel unique because content comes from their own voice. For this ITP session, we will inform faculty and staff about the MyFaculty Podcasts, describe the benefits to Walden faculty and faculty in higher education, and explain to faculty how they can get involved.

Preparing New Students for Success: What’s New With Student Orientation
Presented by Erin Heinrich and Rebecca Jobe

New student orientation plays an important role in Walden University’s new student experience. Attending orientation results in improved student confidence, preparedness, and retention through the first year and beyond. Join us to talk about and see what we’re doing to increase engagement, improve attendance, and create an exceptional orientation experience for our new students. As an added bonus, learn more about our Readiness Quiz and how it’s being used to help new students.

Clinical Skills Live: Using Hybrid Courses to Teach, Observe, and Evaluate Critical Psychology Competencies
Presented by Tracy Marsh and Tim Lionetti

We will present the Clinical Psychology blended academic year in-residence model (BAYR). The BAYR is a prescribed sequence of eight skills-based courses, taken two per quarter for four consecutive quarters. Each course incorporates a 9-day, in-person intensive residency during Week 10. This innovative model includes a threaded family case study that is incorporated into each course. This model can be easily adapted to any program that teaches skills or competencies that would benefit from live instruction, observation, and evaluation. Both student and faculty response to the model has been overwhelmingly positive and is reflected in positive retention rates.

Using the Doctoral Research Coach Tool to Support Student Progress on the Doctoral Capstone or Project
Presented by Michelle Brown and Karen Milheim

This professional development opportunity for doctoral capstone or project committee faculty is focused on how to use the Doctoral Research Coach to both monitor and support doctoral student progress. Demonstrations will include explorations of the content, functionality, and best practices for using the PhD and the newly released professional doctoral program versions of the tool. Faculty will have the opportunity to operate the tool on laptops provided during the session.

Empowering Faculty to Support Doctoral Students in a Variety of Career Pathways
Presented by Dina Bergren, Denise Pranke, Katy Peper, and Shereeza Mohammed

Research studies have shown that about half of new doctoral graduates find employment outside of academia. Changes in graduate education and in the U.S. and global workforce have opened new opportunities for doctoral-level professionals to thrive in a variety of roles within educational institutions, organizations, government agencies, and nonprofits. However, many students lack knowledge of possible career paths they can pursue with a doctoral degree (Wendler et al., 2012, pp. 2–10).

In this presentation, Career Services staff and a Walden core faculty member will provide insights into how faculty can enhance their knowledge of doctoral career pathways and engage in professional activities that expand their scope beyond academia. Through an interactive activity related to the pathways, faculty will gain an understanding into their own professional development and become empowered to share new visions with doctoral students.

Wendler, C., Bridgeman, B., Markle, R., Cline, F., Bell, N., McAllister, P., & Kent, J. (2012). Pathways through graduate school and into careers. Princeton, NJ: Educational Testing Service.

Self-Directed Learning Design:  Student Engagement and Assessment
Presented by Karla Phlypo and Holly Rick

Join us as we present the initial lessons learned generated from the new PhD in Management program upgrade. By enabling self-directed learning in a research and topic context, students are taking responsibility for their learning and experiencing deeper development of research skills.  Blended learning, experiential learning, and learning-styles-model strategies have not been successful in students taking ownership of their learning and that is especially true for a PhD program. Online course design has become predictive and static. The courses become less desirable for adult learners as they have options to learn about topics in meaningful ways, such as bite size learning or searchable online video content.

Online learning institutions need to explore opportunities for flexibility of content and student engagement in the online environment. In 2018, a Walden University PhD program began a program update to address the issue of student flexibility as well as ways of improving assessment utilizing both formative and summative measures of learning. Taking a self-directed learning approach to complex topics within the content courses of the program allows the students to explore the content in a personally meaningful way, allowing students to take control of their learning and find ways to improve their intrinsic learning capacity.

Professional Development Opportunities at Walden in All Areas Throughout the Journey
Presented by Lyda Downs and Deepa Shriram

Over the past 50 years Walden University has become a leader in providing professional development opportunities for faculty. From webinars and podcasts to faculty coaching sessions and a thriving Postdoctoral Fellowship for recent graduates new to the academy. There is a faculty development opportunity for every faculty member, from new to seasoned, here at Walden University!

The Impact of Restructuring HUMN 8550 - Preparing for Dissertation on Student Learning Outcomes and Institutional Effectiveness
Presented by Greg Hickman and Rebecca Stout

We examined the impact of restructuring HUMN 8550 - Preparing for Dissertation based on Vygotsky scaffolding. In our presentation we will discuss the old 8550 format and the new, restructured 8550 format. We will address the variables we examined and how we collected the data, and then provide comparative data demonstrating the effectiveness of students matriculating to their dissertation shell: terms it took to get the prospectus approved; terms enrolled in the dissertation shell; U's received in their dissertation shell; and enrollment status, to include withdrawal, academic dismissal, and graduation.

Empowering Change Through Appreciative Inquiry
Presented by Tom Butkiewicz, Barry Sugarman, and Sheryl Kristensen

Walden University is celebrating 50 years of social change. Yet, engaging in or even encouraging change can be quite challenging. While there are many change frameworks discussed in the literature, we propose a model grounded in Appreciative Inquiry and that further supports empowering change through lifelong learning, teaching, research, and mentoring. To be our best selves, we need tools to help us embrace our skills, knowledge, and emotional intelligence, thus enabling us to model behaviors and attitudes that will help the Walden community persist through the next 50 years.

As faculty, we support student growth and lifelong learning through teaching, mentoring, and research. We will discuss how, through the four steps of Appreciative Inquiry (i.e., discover, dream, design, and destiny), we can improve readiness for change. Upon the completion of this session, participants will be able to apply Appreciative Inquiry to their individual, group, and organizational settings. Specifically, participants will be able to follow the Appreciative Inquiry model by clarifying what their focus is, appreciating the best of what is, envisioning what might be, co-constructing what should be, and innovating what will be. Appreciative Inquiry, for example, may help us as faculty mentor our doctoral students through the tremendous change experience that characterizes their doctoral degree programs.

Awaken Student Curiosity With AI-Supported Discussions That Simply Work
Presented by Monique Lynch, Barry Sugarman, and Kathy Strang

How might online discussions truly engage students in dialogue, spark curiosity, and promote critical thinking and writing? Packback is an online tool that works with the Blackboard classroom to deliver an easy-to-use and engaging discussion experience for students and instructors, with an AI-supported platform that delivers real-time feedback to students. Automated moderation frees up instructors to spend more time interacting with students around content. Packback drives skill development in effective question formation, scholarly writing, and critical debate, leading to significant benefits for students in class and in their futures. Come see how AI can improve both student engagement and instructor productivity.

Prioritizing Feedback on Graduate Student Writing: Course Papers and Dissertation Chapter Submissions
Presented by: Anna Grigoryan

Graduate coursework faculty and chairs, when faced with student writing submissions that are challenging to comprehend, often have difficulties providing effective feedback that guides students' entrance into their discipline-specific discourse community. Some faculty may limit their comments to superficial editing issues, while others may go as far as using the Track Changes option to edit the student paper. Some faculty who view writing and discipline-specific content acquisition as separate may also simply reject the student submission and ask the student to fix the writing issues and resubmit the paper.

Based on the idea that graduate-level writing, thinking, and discipline-specific knowledge acquisition are interwoven, the presenter will provide clear and practical strategies for prioritizing feedback on student writing by explaining when and how to focus on higher and lower order concerns.
The goal of the presentation is to help graduate faculty gain the pedagogical and practical tools they need to feel confident when providing feedback on student writing and prioritizing areas of focus.

Teams: Creating Connections for a Collaborative Classroom Experience
Presented by Melissa Houston

Teams provides faculty and students the opportunity to connect, build rapport, and collaborate for a more personalized learning experience. In this ITP session, a faculty support agent (FSA) will discuss the Office 365 Teams app and demonstrate how faculty can use the tool to enhance the online classroom environment. The session will include a short presentation, live demonstration, interactive discussion, and an opportunity to learn more about Teams and other digital tools by signing up for a 1:1 session with an FSA.

Completing the Prospectus
Presented by Crissie Jameson

The Richard W. Riley College of Education and Leadership research team will provide a description of the process for completing the prospectus and the steps the program director designee team takes to ensure all prospectuses meet the minimum standards. Best practices and strategies will be presented.

Community as a Sustaining Force: Creating Scholarly Online Communities Informed by Research, Pillars, and Doctoral Learners
Presented by Bonnie Mullinix

This session focuses on the opportunities for community that exist within Walden’s doctoral structure, how they are experienced by candidates, and how they serve to sustain and support scholarly growth and retention. Based on the writing and professional presentations of two recent Walden graduates and their chairs/mentors, this session will share their journey through residencies and research-forum interactions and reflect on the community support strategies, existing and co-created, that helped doctoral candidates stay motivated and connected and ultimately to succeed. A matrix of strategies, apps, and online tools has emerged from this process and is offered for consideration.

Pointing to the relevant research foundation regarding online learning communities and andragogical practices as well as relevant Walden Pillars, the presenter(s) will use the case-based experience to walk participants through the evolution of a community built across students with disparate interests and backgrounds at various stages in their studies. Reflections on this process and its impact on doctoral candidate learning experiences will connect emergent elements with the associated research base. Strategies and elements addressed include fostering personal connection, clear expectations and timely communications, structured learning agreements and individualized planning, focused topic/skills-oriented discussions, monthly synchronous meetings, shared facilitation responsibilities, collaborative projects, and residencies. These will help to illustrate the flow and interconnection between these experiences, the key elements, and the pillars of (a) digital learning community members; (b) personalized and contextual experiences for learners; and (c) advancing personal and career goals while building from the foundation of doctoral scholar-practitioners with a focus on positive social change.

Faculty Portal Hidden Gems
Presented by Michael Schaefer

There are so many hidden gems on the Faculty Portal. This presentation will review and demonstrate My Links, Insights, ChatBot, Faculty Search, and others, along with how to give feedback and suggestions to polish up some existing and future gems.

Building the Foundation of a Successful Program Evaluation Using a Logic Model and Evaluation Plan
Presented by Brandon Simmons and George Bradley

Learning how to build, manage, and lead successful summative or formative program evaluations is a beneficial skill for leaders and managers in all business, nonprofit, or government fields. In this session, Dr. Simmons and Dr. Bradley will review characteristics of successful program evaluations as well as walk through, in detail, the components of both a logic model and evaluation plan, which is considered the foundation of program evaluation. Participants will leave with a foundational understanding of program evaluation and with the self-efficacy to complete both logic models and evaluation plans for their own program evaluations within their field or career.

Empowering Students Through Lifelong Learning, Teaching, and Mentoring
Presented by Judi Blakely, Michael Jazzar, and Michelle McCraney

This presentation will showcase an innovative strategy to empower students through lifelong learning, teaching, and mentoring. The strategy developed from faculty working collectively to provide essential information about important aspects of Walden University programs, as well as from surveying students throughout their programs to glean critical information and relevant advice for assisting new students with strategies that ensure success at the university. The presentation will take attendees through the journey from the development to the implementation of the “New Student Success Session” designed to give learners the tools for success in higher education.

Creating a Cross-Cultural and Inclusive Online Learning Environment in Today's Global Classroom
Presented by Tracy Masiello, Sreeroopa Sarkar, and Marites Pinon

As on online university with a global reach, Walden University faculty are challenged with creating inclusive classrooms where students of all backgrounds feel they are represented and welcomed. Regardless of background or experience, students need to feel they are equal participants in the classroom in order to fully engage with the course material. Presentation attendees will learn how they can use a framework of critical reflective practice to facilitate classes in a way that promotes an inclusive pedagogy. Attendees will also learn how cross-cultural content can be infused into course curriculum and will see an example of how one Walden program is currently doing so. Attendees will also learn innovative, yet practical, strategies that they can easily implement in their classrooms to promote an inclusive and cross-cultural learning community. Attendees will have an opportunity to reflect on their own classroom practices using a guiding tool provided at the presentation, and to leave with an action plan for implementation in their current and future classes.

Expanding the Use of Simulations for Professional Development and Learning
Presented by Karen Milheim, Kathy Strang, and Dan Romero

Join members of PSID, Doctoral Enrollment, and the Doctoral Business Group to learn more about the expanded use of simulations to support training and professional development of doctoral enrollment advisors. During this interactive session, participants will learn about the collaborative process used to develop the simulation scenarios, and research pointing to the effectiveness of simulations in learning and professional growth.
During this session, presenters will conduct a live simulation, and invite members of the audience to participate. Faculty and staff will also be invited to consider how simulations might support student learning outcomes, professional development, and training.

Right-Brain Activities in a Left-Brain Online Classroom
Presented by Julianna Robinson and Elisabeth Suarez

One of the biggest challenges in the online learning environment is student engagement. Researchers have found a positive relationship between student engagement, learning outcomes, and learning technology (Chen, Lambert, & Guidry, 2010). Engaged learning is more than just a presentation of information. Interaction with the content, each other, and the instructor is necessary to promote engaging learning. Many adult learners come to their online classes after a long day of “life.” Engagement activities should be provided that are inviting, welcoming, motivating and centering (Deschaine & Whale, 2017). Experiential learning activities allow students to connect their learning to the real world, which in turn allows for future professional growth as well as contributions to the world around them. There are many types of experiential activities that could be utilized to obtain the desired outcomes. This presentation will focus on the use of creative arts experiential learning activities in the online classroom. Creative arts activities allow learners to participate and share meaningful experiences that are tied to a specific event, experience, or academic concept. The integration of creative arts and experiential activities in the online classroom is a “marriage between the upper echelon of Bloom’s Taxonomy of Higher Order Thinking and the major tenets of John Dewey’s theory of experiential learning” (Budhai & Skipwith, 2017, p.7). Imagination, originality, openness to new ideas, use of critical thinking skills, and the ability to communicate are five qualities that have been identified with creativity (Richards & Schubert-Irastorza, 2013) and are important to assist students in preparing for the world of work after commencement.

Budhai, S. S., & Skipwith, K. B. (2017). Best practices in engaging online learners through active and experiential learning strategies. New York: Routledge
Chen, P.-S. D., Lambert, A. D., & Guidry, K. R. (2010). Engaging online learners: The impact of Web-based learning technology on college student engagement. Computers & Education, 54(4), 1222–1232. Retrieved from
Deschaine, M. E., & Whale, D. E. (2017). Increasing student engagement in online educational leadership courses. Journal of Educators Online, 14(1). Retrieved from
Richards, J., & Schubert-Irastorza, C. (2013). Valuing creativity in online teaching. Journal of Research in Innovative Teaching, 6(1), 68–79.


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