An Introduction to Faculty Mentoring Networks
A Faculty Mentoring Network (FMN) is a group of faculty who work together to learn about and implement some quantitative biology teaching materials or approach. Here are a couple of quick examples:
- The InTeGrate FMN is a group of nine faculty who are meeting online during the Spring 2016 semester to adopt and adapt curriculum materials from the InTeGrate project for use in their own classrooms.
- The AIMS FMN is testing modules from the Analyzing Images to Learn Mathematics and Statistics project and developing new materials that have students collecting real data from images.
Why are FMNs useful? Even if you already know about a great resource collection like Teaching Issues in Ecology & Evolution, it can still be difficult to work through them by yourself and figure out how you can adopt and adapt a module for your classroom. Faculty Mentoring Networks can make it easier to address these stubborn problems.
For example, QUBES is collaborating with the Ecological Society of America to run two FMNs [Scaling-up and Data Discovery] that bring together authors of TIEE modules and other experienced mentors with faculty who would like to implement these materials. We believe that working with a group of peers helps with:
- learning the background biology and quantitative skills;
- seeing multiple examples of how others are using the resources; and,
- getting feedback and technical help on your own implementation plan.
While FMNs vary in terms of the content they address and the details of their structure, there are several common features that they share.
- The goals for the group and the expectations for participation will be clearly outlined up front.
- Mentors will facilitate the group to help everyone work with the resources being featured and making them useful for your students.
- You will have a private group workspace on the QUBESHub to organize the FMN materials and communications.
- Some online synchronous meetings will be held to help us work effectively as a group and reach our goals.
You can learn more about Faculty Mentoring Networks here.
Please feel free to contact Sam Donovan (firstname.lastname@example.org) with questions, comments, or suggestions for future faculty mentoring networks you would like to see.