A Conversation on Risk Taking by New Faculty

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It’s Spring Break here at VCU, so no GRAD-602 class this week.  However, as Jeff Nugent, David McLeod and I are all here this week…and since the Open VA Conference was cancelled due to a March snow storm, we decided to have another podcast conversation.

Last week in our class, our students discussed a case study around a new faculty and his integration of technology into teaching.  During the class and afterwards in the blogs, a number of students noted that they would not take “such a risky behavior” as trying new ways of teaching in their new job. For instance, one student said, “After reading this case, I was like “Wow, this dude is pretty ballsy!”  I would be scared to do anything this big my first year whether it’s a tenured positions or not.”  In the comments, another said that having students blog was “a radical move”.  We heard similar points in class.

That got Jeff, David and I thinking, and this conversation ensued…

Thoughts?  Reactions?

{Image Credit: kyz}

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One thought on “A Conversation on Risk Taking by New Faculty

  1. What a great idea to create a podcast around a topic or concern raised in class.

    I have worked in settings where risk is the norm. The system loved innovation and ideas that extended conversations into other disciplines. On the flip side, I have been royally burned by those who were threatened by the risks that I would take with my students. There’s a fine line to walk and one that is difficult to wrap your head around when considering what’s best in terms of practice for student learning and engagement.

    It’s interesting to consider that to do the same thing in our classes over an over is a risk. It’s just a different kind of risk. (Perhaps the risk that you’ll earn the reputation for being boring an uncreative?)
    In my GHO last Sunday night one of the women talked about how she tried many of the MOOC pre-course and course ideas with her students this term. (The semester just started in Australia.) Her students are post graduate, English language learners. They are responding very favorably to the risks that she’s taking. Another member quickly grabbed the video clips from the lessons and showed them to her writing classes. I was rather envious of their ability to take a new idea and run with it while simultaneously being a student!

    Hope that you all post another podcast for me to listen to soon! I enjoy lurking!

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