The faculty student relationship can be one of the most gratifying experiences for college students. Faculty who have positive relationships with their students during those interactions can help them succeed academically and increase their overall satisfaction with their educational experience at the university (Pascarella,1980; Fusani, 1994). However this can be achieved only when faculty demonstrate professional conduct in their interactions with students and promote a culture of mutual trust and respect. NIU has a new online resource that can provide guidance, support, and recommendations to faculty to promote positive interaction, and help preserve the safety of students, faculty, and the institution. The ‘Faculty-Student Relationships: Maintaining Roles and Responsibilities’ online tutorial is now available for viewing by all teaching staff, including faculty, instructors, and graduate teaching assistants.
The tutorial content was originally developed for a faculty-student relationship workshop by NIU faculty/staff members Deborah Haliczer, Sarah Klaper and Toni Tollerud. A major element of this material is the inclusion of Michael Davis’ Seven Step Guide to Ethical Decision making (Davis, 1999), which offers a practical framework for avoiding perceptions of improper relationships with students. Teaching faculty who are familiar these seven steps are better prepared to respond to challenging situations.
The material was compiled, formatted, and recorded as an instructional module by staff from the Faculty Development and Instructional Design Center. This resource was design to incorporate a number of features that enhance the learning experience. Users are not required to login, and no information is collected, stored, or shared. Once the session begins, it is self-running, automatically advancing from slide to slide. However, users have the option to advance the slides on their own, pause, go to a previous slide, or exit from the session by closing the browser tab. In addition to having an accompanying voice narration, the transcribed notes for each slide can be viewed on a side panel. Users can also download the entire transcription either as a MS Word or Adobe PDF version for their own review. This benefits a range of users and situations, including those who have a hearing impairment, whose first language is not English, or who cannot play the audio because they may be viewing it from a computer in a public setting, such as a library.
This self-running module was designed to incorporate a number of other features that enhance the learning experience. Interactive case scenarios are included that describe a range of situations that pose ethical dilemmas for teaching staff. An interactive quiz asks users to consider a ‘better’ response or action to take from among a list of possible options. While the posted options are not meant to represent an exhaustive list of possibilities, an explanation is provided for selecting one response over another. Users can also download a transcript of the case scenarios.
The Faculty-Student Relationships: Maintaining Roles and Responsibilities’ online tutorial can be viewed either on a desktop/laptop computer, or on mobile devices. The tutorial can be viewed from http://go.niu.edu/Relation.
For more information on this tutorial, contact Dan Cabrera (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Davis, M. (1999). Ethics and the University. New York: Routledge Publishers, Inc.
Fusani, D. (1994). Extra-class Communication: Frequency, immediacy, self-disclosure, and satisfaction in student-faculty interaction outside the classroom. Journal of Applied Communications Research, 22, 232-255.
Pascarella, E. (1980). Student-faculty informal contact and college outcomes. Review of Educational Research, 50, 545-595.