As we’ve been discussing, those of us in higher education often have a difficult time thinking of students as customers. But whatever the language, we are committed to creating the best possible experience for our students. Within our various areas of responsibility, we want to respond effectively and creatively to student needs.
The Faculty Focus newsletter is one example of a tool to help us serve students by providing effective teaching and learning. This week’s issue had a good article on Six Ways to Improve Your Department’s Teaching Climate.
- Talk regularly about teaching and learning, and share good ideas, tips, readings, or even quotes to keep the conversation fresh.
- Discuss teaching and learning topics at department meetings, for example sharing ideas or problem-solving around specific issues.
- Start a reading group to discuss books or articles related to teaching and learning.
- Develop collaboration with other people who care about your issues. Support each others’ efforts and work together to advocate for change.
- Strategically assess the teaching potential of new job candidates. For example, ask for teaching philosophy statements or ask them to respond to typical classroom scenarios.
Beyond improving teaching and learning, I thought these tips could apply to other areas of customer service in higher education. For example, the same set of suggestions would work when thinking about serving underrepresented faculty, students, and staff members or developing high-potential leaders.
What do you think?
Dee Anne Bonebright