Just days before students arrive back on campus each year and prepare for the upcoming semester, faculty members gather to make preparations of their own.
For more than 15 years, planning week has served as a time for faculty and staff to gather and discuss strategies and new programs for the upcoming semester.
“This year, we have several new programs that will begin to reinforce some of the goals in The Elon Commitment,” said Mary Wise, associate vice president of Academic Affairs. “This year we have some programs on diversity and creating inclusive classrooms.”
[quote]Planning week is paradoxically exhausting and invigorating - Paula Patch, ENG 110 Coordinator[/quote]
Before the annual opening address from President Leo Lambert, faculty members who completed research the previous year were awarded medallions. For the first time, after the president’s address, attendees were taken on tours of The Station at Mill Point, the Gerald L. Francis Center and the university’s new south campus property at the former Elon Homes and Schools for Children site.
Throughout the week, faculty and staff met as groups by department and chose other workshops to attend based on their specific interests.
Paula Patch, lecturer in English and coordinator of ENG 110, Writing Argument and Inquiry, led a session for faculty members who will be teaching the course this academic year.
During her workshop, Patch introduced three new faculty members who will be teaching the course, which was renamed from College Writing after a faculty vote in May.
The ENG 110 professors discussed two focal points of their faculty professional development — information literacy and writing for online audiences — which are topics they plan to collaboratively research and implement in the classroom.
“Planning week is paradoxically exhausting and invigorating,” Patch said. “I can’t speak for everyone, but I usually get my best ideas for teaching from the sessions I attend.”
Patch said the ENG 110 faculty members would continue to collaborate on how to practically implement a theme like information literacy in an online setting when the vast amount of resources available to students on the Internet requires discernment between reliable and unreliable sources.
“The tension between immediacy and accuracy is something students and, by extension, faculty struggle to resolve,” she said. “We’re trying to work on ways to resolve that tension — and that was the topic of discussion at Tuesday’s workshop.”
Though some of the material addressed during planning week is new to faculty members, Wise said one of the underlying goals of the week is to carry on a conversation.
“Overall, we’d like it to be a dialogue,” she said. “Some of it has to be reported because many faculty have been off campus for three months and we have to share what’s going on and what our goals are for the university. But certainly as we move into department and committee