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Comprehensive Standard 3.7.3

The institution provides evidence of ongoing professional development of faculty as teachers, scholars, and practitioners.

√ CompliantNon-Compliant


The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston (UTMB) provides ongoing faculty development, including development opportunities for those delivering distance education, in furtherance of its institutional goal to “provide innovative educational programs and curricula.” All four schools and departments within those schools UTMB offer development opportunities for members of their faculty through professional meetings, workshops, and conferences. Health profession faculty members also participate in training and educational activities that are required to maintain licensure and certification in their profession.

In addition to these informal school and departmental development activities, UTMB offers many formal University-wide programs that present ample opportunity for faculty to engage in life-long learning and educational and professional development. These are described in detail below.

Academic Computing provides information technology support and programming for UTMB faculty and students, allowing access to scholarly information and knowledge management services and products. In addition to sponsoring a monthly Education Technology Forum that provides a wide variety of technology-related topics in education, Academic Computing staff support and computing consults are available to assist faculty wishing to utilize technologies for both classroom and distance education. These include: Blackboard Learning Management System and Blackboard Building Blocks (including Mobile Learn, which allows access to Blackboard from smart phones and other mobile devices); Tegrity Lecture Capture System, which is used extensively for recording lectures (12,000 in the last four years and a total of 400,000 viewings); TurningPoint audience response system; ConnectYard to connect announcements and discussions to social media; Questionmark Perception and Respondus for online examinations; SafeAssign and Turnitin plagiarism checking software; Softchalk learning module builder; and VoiceThread asynchronous collaboration application (1).

Academic Resources include the Academic Technology Center, housed in the UTMB library. The Center supports the design and development of curriculum and multimedia instructional materials for a Web-based environment, including aiding in the developing of new courses and reconstruction of existing courses to be delivered as distance education. There are workstations available for faculty to prepare digital imagery for the Web, download images from a digital camera, digitize and edit videos, and build and manage websites (2). For other library-related services, see 3.8.1, Learning/Information Resources.

The UTMB Academy of Master Teachers, established in 2007, is an honorary service organization to recognize excellent teachers and to provide an array of faculty development opportunities for all UTMB faculty. These include an annual Faculty Development Day, annual Education Symposium, education grand rounds, journal club, innovation grants, mentoring, and consultations. Membership is by application and selection against a set of standards. Members serve three-year terms and may be honored with the designation as University of Texas Distinguished Teaching Professors. The Academy offers funding opportunities for UTMB faculty to purchase educational materials, limited travel support to meetings and workshops, development of innovation educational pilot projects, and funding for junior faculty for scholarship, innovation, and research in health science education (3). The Academy is also the sponsor of the Community of Developing Educators (CODE) which is discussed in greater detail below.

UTMB’s Institute for Translational Sciences (ITS) and Clinical Translational Sciences Award (CTSA) have worked together to create the new Academy of Research Mentors, designed to improve the quality of mentoring as a way to enhance multidisciplinary training and research. The Academy’s aims are to develop faculty mentoring and team-based research skills, set standards for mentoring and team research excellence, promote mentoring and team innovation, and improve the number and quality of mentors and research teams. The Academy provides diverse opportunities to enrich mentors’ styles and methods, including a Mentors’ Forum and will recognize and reward faculty for excellence in mentoring and/or in research team building (4).

ADAPT (Any Day Any Place Teaching), in existence from 2009-2012, was formed as a learning community of health professions faculty working together to learn how to adapt teaching materials to Web-based formats and how to create and use interactive online instructional materials. ADAPT used online methods to teach these online skills, so that those who participated in the program could fit this learning into an already-busy academic schedule “any day any place.” Three cohorts of ADAPTers completed the year-long program, which was funded by an education innovations grant from the The University of Texas System’s Office of Health Affairs. Although the program is now completed, it has left a legacy in a set of instructional materials and technical tips posted on the Web (5), as well as numerous digital learning objects created by the ADAPTers. These are available to all faculty, including those teaching distance education courses, on the ADAPT Showcase website (6).

The purpose of the Clinical Safety and Effectiveness (CS&E) program is to expand and improve UTMB’s quality, safety, and service management systems to enhance their value and impact the University’s education, research, and clinical care programs (7). One of CS&E’s roles is to train faculty in quality improvement and clinical safety and thereby develop leaders with a common understanding and future vision of clinical safety and effectiveness. In 2005, UTMB entered a partnership with LifeWings, LLC, to increase the culture of safety among faculty, students, and researchers through improved communication, collaboration, cooperation, and teamwork. In addition, the CS&E is now in the process of developing a Patient Family Advisory Committee to support faculty education and training in patient and family engagement, ethics, and best practices (8).

The Community of Developing Educators (CODE), which introduced its first 11 mentees in December, 2012, is designed to encourage teaching excellence through a program targeted to and tailored for the specific needs of individual faculty, and to nurture these faculty to become the next generation of academic educators. CODE is overseen by a steering committee consisting of members from the Academy of Master Teachers (AMT), a service organization providing resources and mentoring to UTMB faculty seeking to increase their skills as educators. Faculty wishing to participate in CODE submit a letter of commitment agreeing to a mentoring relationship with an AMT member and are required to sign a mentoring contract (9). Each CODE applicant is interviewed individually to assess his or her interests prior to matching with an AMT mentor. Mentors assist faculty in developing an educational focus and identifying strengths and areas of growth in their professional development. Faculty are also expected to draft an educational portfolio and participate in at least 10 hours of AMT activities annually (10).

The main objective of the Hispanic Center of Excellence is to increase the recruitment, training, and retention of junior and minority faculty through formal and informal faculty development activities, mentoring, and financial assistance. Annually, the HCOE recruits two MD fellows for up to 50% protected research time for two years; holds faculty development conferences with local and national speakers; presents a series of lectures on Hispanic health; provides a one-on-one series of writing workshops that help faculty complete scholarly projects; holds quarterly seminars to support career advancement; sponsors two junior faculty to the AAMC Minority Faculty Development Annual Seminar; provides travel funds to national conferences for faculty to present research; facilitates mentorship through the HCOE Board; invites applications for clinical, research and training projects for professional development or career advancement; and collaborates with the Office of Educational Development, Academy of Master Teachers, and UTMB Research Services to co-sponsor events and activities (11).

The UTMB Institute for Translational Sciences (ITS), funded in part by an NIH Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA), was created in 2009 as an academic home for clinical and translational sciences and has the resources to train, cultivate, and sustain future leaders of the biomedical research workforce. Its Translational Research Career Development Program (12) provides partial support for junior faculty scholars to conduct research as part of an ITS multidisciplinary translational team. The Translational Research Scholars Program (13) targets junior faculty who are working on their first grant application and includes peer group meetings aimed at career development and academic and career advancement.

The ITS at UTMB has joined with other CTSA recipients in the greater Houston area and with NASA-Johnson Space Center to train faculty, fellows, students, and scientists in the skills and knowledge needed to enhance collaborative innovation and entrepreneurial thinking (14). The courses will apply interactive problem-based learning to train participants in collaborative innovation and application of business principles to support advance of medical technology and patient care and will incorporate best practices and technologies for remote learning to facilitate participation form all University of Texas institutions.

Among its educational programs, UTMB’s ITS offers a monthly seminar series for faculty and fellows that emphasizes team-oriented translational research (15). It has also expanded an existing clinical research development course into 35 weekly hour-long sessions and has enrolled over 530 individuals in a 12-hour course on scientific writing for clinical research faculty interested in improving their skills in preparing research grant applications and manuscripts. Other courses include team leadership for faculty leading multidisciplinary translational teams, a day long workshop on building interdisciplinary teams, seminars in development of LOGIC models for evaluation, monthly seminars in quantitative methods, and a research ethics discussion series to increase awareness of controversial and emerging issues in the translational research environment.

Out of Provost’s office; add here as placeholder until program goes live (16).

The Office of Educational Development (OED) primarily supports the mission of the School of Medicine by designing and providing faculty development to improve teaching and learning and by supporting curriculum development aimed at effective teaching and learning in both face-to-face and distance learning environments. A set of workshops specifically designed to support faculty in their role as small-group facilitators in the School of Medicine curriculum is offered throughout the year. OED also provides a 20-month Scholars in Education Program for faculty at all four schools who wish to enhance their skills as educators (see entry below) and co-sponsors a teaching skills series with the Academy of Master Teachers (see entry above). The series consists of one-hour workshops that focus on a specific topic related to teaching and learning and are open to anyone in the University wishing to learn or enhance teaching skills. Additional support for faculty as educators, including customized workshops or mentoring of individual faculty members, is provided on request (17).

The UTMB Office of Research Services, in addition to institutional pre- and post-award support, offers a variety of services aimed at promoting the success of UTMB faculty in applying and obtaining extramural research funding. The core of these services is represented by the Funding Library (18). As part of the Office of Research Education, the Funding Library provides help in identifying funding sources and other information useful in the grant development process and distributes this information to the UTMB community through workshops, listserv alerts, and one-on-one meetings. A SMARTS funding alert and links to other alerts and listservs are also available, allowing researchers to subscribe to services providing current information about funding opportunities and have that information delivered directly to their mailbox (19). Educational programs, both live and electronic and available on an on-going basis to faculty both in Galveston and at a distance, cover topics related to funding, grantsmanship, and research management (20). An informal and interactive Grants for Lunch program, offered in partnership with the Institute for Translational Science (see above), focuses on assisting UTMB faculty and fellows in developing grantsmanship skills (21).

The Office is also beginning implementation of a SciVal system, an experts and funding database that allows researchers to locate experts in their field and enables collaboration both within and across institutions (22). Programs and services in planning stages at this time include hiring a funding specialist who will provide specific funding opportunities to faculty based on their research interest and current work. This person will be able to assist faculty in building an overall research plan, laying out milestones, and identifying potential sponsors.

The Scholars in Education Program, offered by the Office of Educational Development (see above entry), is a 20-month program for faculty in all four UTMB schools who wish to enhance their skills as educators. Scholars are nominated by their department chair and form a group of 15-20 faculty that meet monthly. Sessions on teaching skills, educational research skills, curriculum development, testing, and contemporary issues in medical education are among the featured topics. Every Scholar conducts an educational research or development project. A symposium comprised of Scholars’ presentations of their projects concludes the program. Graduates of the Scholars program have gone on to serve the School of Medicine as course and clerkship directors, as leaders in the Integrated Medical Curriculum (IMC), and as small-group facilitators, lecturers and teachers in other areas in the curriculum and administration (23).

The UTMB Osler Club is affiliated with the John P. McGovern Academy of Oslerian Medicine, founded to encourage the teaching and practice of compassionate care to medical students. The Club’s bimonthly meetings are open to all members of the UTMB community and include a CME accredited lecture addressing medical history, ethics, humanities, or practice exemplifying the application of Oslerian principles to contemporary medical practice (24)

The mission of The University of Texas (UT) Academy of Health Science Education is to foster excellence in education in the health sciences by recognition of outstanding educators and advancement of knowledge and innovation in the field of education. Academy membership is comprised of faculty members from health institutions within the UT System who have been recognized for their teaching excellence (25). The Academy offers faculty at any of the UT health science institutions an opportunity to apply for a Health Science Education Small Grants Award for up to $5,000 to develop a project that strives to improve health education through innovative approaches. In addition, the Academy awards Innovation in Health Science Education grants to individuals who have implemented an educational project or program in undergraduate or graduate education with documented innovation and achievement (26).

Both the School of Nursing (SON) and the School of Health Professions (SHP) offer distance education classes and provide faculty development opportunities that focus on online teaching. The SON schedules faculty development activities throughout the year that use the SON Multimedia Lab and Web-based technology (27). The Lab includes a team of programmers, course development coordinators, and graphics designers under the supervision of a program director. Lab personnel are involved with all aspects of online course and continuing nursing education, as well as interactive CD-ROM program development.

The SHP has purchased DVDs for faculty use that focus on design and development of online/distance education, teaching methods, and class management issues. Faculty members are invited to check out materials and study them to improve their online teaching methods. Most materials have been purchased from Magna Publications’ professional development education for online courses, seminars, and workshops. Materials include such topics as “Teaching Online: 15 Differences that Affect Learning,” “Online Effectiveness,” and “What are Communication Musts in an Online Class?” (28).

University-wide, the Academic Technology Center (ATC), part of Academic Resources, provides a link on their home page to an ATC PowerPoint presentation that gives an overview of what is needed to design and develop a course taught at a distance versus a Web-assisted course. The presentation provides insights using effective instructional strategies such as active and collaborative learning, explains different types of distance education technologies, and identifies available technology that can be used to support learning objectives (29).

1. Academic Computing Services

2. Academic Technology Center

3. Academy of Master Teachers

4. Academy of Research Mentors


6. ADAPT Showcase

7. Clinical Safety and Effectiveness

8. Patient Family Advisory Committee
PowerPoint slide presentation [see 3.7.3-Pt-Family Advisory Committee.ppt]

9. Committee of Developing Educators Contract

10. Committee of Developing Educators Portfolio

11. Hispanic Center of Excellence

12. Translational Research Career Development Program

13. Translational Research Scholars Program

14. Collaborative Innovation and Entrepreneurial Thinking

15. Topics in Translational Research Seminar Series

16. Placeholder for New Faculty Orientation

17. Office of Educational Development

18. Research Support Funding Library

19. SMARTS Funding Alert

20. Research Support Educational Programs

21. Grants for Lunch Program

22. SciVal System

23. Scholars in Education Program

24. The UTMB Osler Club

25. “UT Academy Inducts New Members”

26. The University of Texas Academy Health Science Education Award

27. School of Nursing Faculty Development
Hard copy: see 2012-2013 SON Faculty Development

28. Magna Publications, Teaching Online

29. “Moving beyond Web Assisted Courses,” a PowerPoint Presentation

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