Faculty development: principles and practices.J Vet Med Educ. 2006 Fall; 33(3):317-24.JV
Instructors in the health professions today must acquire knowledge and competencies that go beyond disciplinary expertise. It is now generally accepted that educational training as a teacher is essential to a faculty member's effectiveness as an educator. The educational challenges across the health professions share many similarities. In this article, we draw on the medical education literature and focus on faculty development designed to enhance teaching effectiveness. We first address commonly included faculty development topics, including instructional improvement, organizational development, the development of professional academic skills, and the teaching of specific content areas. We then review a variety of educational approaches and formats that are described in the literature. Included in this discussion are commonly used workshops, seminars, short courses, and fellowships, as well as longitudinal programs, peer coaching, mentorship, self-directed learning, and computer-aided instruction. We also briefly explore learning at work and in communities of practice, and we discuss several frequently encountered challenges in designing and implementing faculty development activities, including motivating colleagues and assessing program effectiveness. We conclude the discussion by presenting a set of guidelines for the design of effective faculty development programs.