Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education


Date of this Version


Document Type



To Improve the Academy, published by The Professional and Organizational Development Network in Higher Education, volume 15, 1996.


Although there is a large amount of activity and a sizeable literature in the area of instructional development, there has been relatively little research on faculty members, the clientele for improvement efforts. This paper highlights some characteristics of professors that are relevant to improvement activities. Professors are interested in, value, and work on their teaching; they think they teach rather well. However, they demonstrate a lack of sophistication in talking about teaching and the development of instruction. They focus primarily upon content rather than design or methodology. Teachers' views of what should be done to enhance instruction are discussed and contrasted with those of faculty developers. One conclusion is that faculty developers and faculty members may have very different views on how to go about improving instruction.