A Resource Guide for Beginning College Instructors
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The number of part-time instructors hired into the college sector is rapidly increasing (Landrum, 2009). In 2003, 43% of those teaching in the college sector were part-time employees (Landrum, 2009). In 2011, the number of part-time college instructors increased to 51% (Edmonds, 2015). Today, over half of the college student population are taught by part-time instructors (Basen, 2014). Colleges across Canada rely heavily upon part-time instructors to fulfill the responsibilities of teaching and guiding students toward success. However, the credentials needed to teach at most colleges in Ontario require a minimum of a graduate degree at the master’s level. Yet, unlike primary and secondary school teachers, there is no formal teacher training for higher education educators during their graduate studies education (Cahn, 2015). Consequently, beginning college instructors may not be fully prepared to enter into the college classroom without receiving prior foundational pedagogical content knowledge information. Given the increase in part-time college instructors being hired to teach at the college sector, it is essential that students attending postsecondary institutions across Canada receive optimal learning experiences taught by instructors who have developed a reputation of excellence in teaching. These optimal experiences will not only further the development of our future learners, but also benefit society at large. The evidence-based resource guide in this project has been created for beginning college instructors to use as a tool to help foster their readiness prior to entering into the college classroom. The guide demonstrates suggestions to consider about practicing successful teaching strategies, ii using Universal Design for Learning concepts, providing quality feedback, and engaging and motivating adult learners; with a resource section that includes additional readings, videos, and website links to explore for deeper understanding of higher education teaching pedagogies. In addition, a workshop presentation is provided as a further tool that can be used as a training session for beginning college instructors at any college. The guide is intended to be an easy-to-read resource of ideas upon which to reflect prior to beginning a position as a college instructor.