Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Faculty Collaboration: Enhancing the Quality of Scholarship and Teaching

Faculty Collaboration: Enhancing the Quality of Scholarship and Teaching. This is an ERIC Digest from 1992. It discusses the benefits and drawbacks of having faculty working together to conduct and publish scholarly works. Although librarians are not noted in the article, it makes me think of how librarians should also be included in these sorts of collaborative efforts. Of course, many librarians already collaborate extensively with faculty on research. We just tend no to get any credit for it!

From the site:

Faculty collaboration has grown dramatically over the course of this century. Conventional stereotypes, which convey the image of professors conducting research in the isolation of a laboratory or teaching alone in front of a room of passive students, overlook important aspects of modern academic life. Many professors now do much of their work--teaching, conducting research, and writing--in partnership with colleagues.

Faculty collaboration occurs in a variety of settings and takes different forms, depending on the nature of the collaborative team and the goals of its members. Essentially, faculty collaboration is a cooperative endeavor that involves common goals, coordinated effort, and outcomes or products for which the collaborators share responsibility and credit. This definition is broad and flexible, because faculty collaboration varies in numerous ways contingent upon whether the partnership is for teaching or research as well as on the participants' fields of specialization, institutions of employment, career stages, and a host of other factors.

Professors choose to work in concert with colleagues for numerous reasons. Many believe collaboration increases productivity, maintains motivation, and stimulates creativity and risk taking. It can maximize the use of limited resources and could enhance the quality of teaching and research. Sometimes complex problems accompany faculty collaboration, however, such as difficulty concerning evaluation and assigning credit for work produced in collaboration. Because of the increasing popularity of faculty collaboration and the complex questions it poses to higher education, the time is right for a comprehensive examination of this important topic.

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