Source: Teacher Development, 26:1, 135-149
(Reviewed by the Portal Team)
The Faculty Development Center (FDC) of Mizoram University, conducted three rounds of Faculty Induction Program (FIP) during the academic session 2018–19.
This study was conducted with the intention of achieving these goals:
● To explore the perceptions of newly recruited assistant professors on faculty induction programs.
● To evaluate the infrastructural and instructional facilities available in the FDC of Mizoram University.
● To study the flow of funds and its adequacy for FDC, Mizoram University for the successful implementation of the FIP program.
● To analyze the problems faced by the participants and the director of FDC in running FIP and the effect of FIP among newly appointed teachers.
Materials and methods
The study was conducted between 2018 and 2020.
The research followed the mixed-mode method.
A total of 202 newly appointed assistant professors who have participated in the five rounds of FIP conducted by the FDC of Mizoram University was the population of the study.
One hundred participants (20 from each group) were selected in a simple random-sampling procedure.
All the participant teachers were initially from Mizoram with Indian nationality.
Their traditions, cultural values, religion, language, food habits, and lifestyle are entirely different from other parts of the country.
Almost all the population strictly follow Christianity.
A questionnaire was developed through a workshop and standardized.
This was used for collecting data from the participants.
A checklist was also developed and used for the collection of infrastructural and instructional facilities of the FDC, Mizoram University.
A focus group discussion (FGD) was also conducted for the collection of additional data.
An observational schedule was prepared in the light of the modules of FIP provided by MHRD to observe the lectures given by eminent resource persons invited from universities and academic institutions, social activists, entrepreneurs, and renowned persons.
At the end of the program, an achievement test was conducted to study the effect of FIP among newly appointed teachers.
Results and discussion
The faculty induction program for early-career faculty was conducted at the FDC of Mizoram University three times during an academic session.
So far, 18 programs have been organized on different aspects of the professional training of teachers.
FDC of Mizoram University conducted three rounds of FIP for ECF during the academic year 2018–19 and two rounds of FIP during the year 2019–20.
A total of 202 ECF have been trained under the FIP program of FDC, Mizoram University.
Eighty-four resource persons from different disciplines (Science, Commerce, Management, Engineering, Humanities, and Social Sciences) shared their valuable experiences and insights with the participants.
The program also tried to cover activities such as practice teaching, group discussion, and presentation.
Most of the participants (75%) were of the opinion that the course designed by the coordinator was beneficial for the newly recruited assistant professors.
The quality of the teaching observed was almost all good, and 76% of lessons were excellent about the roles and responsibilities of an assistant professor.
Seventy-nine participants gave positive remarks about the resource persons and said that they delivered the lessons very effectively.
In the focus group discussion (FGD), the participants stated that at the end of the module, they could learn the academic and non-academic roles of an assistant professor in a college/university.
Sixty-two percent of participants said that they learned about the history of Mizoram University as well as the history of higher education in India.
Although the participants were from different streams, they were more interested in learning the educational topics such as the role and contribution of various universities to the higher education sector and the University Act and its impact on the higher education sector.
Sixty-five assistant professors perceived that they were able to understand the rules and regulations, ordinance, and the process of governance of the University in this training.
In the next four rounds of the training program, participants said that they learned the college and university structure, and the role and responsibilities of various bodies in higher education institutions.
Fifty-eight percent of teachers said that after attending the training program, they could understand curriculum and its design, types of curriculum, bases of curriculum, hidden curriculum and curriculum-making, and teachers’ role.
It is found that teachers from social science backgrounds were more interested in learning the curriculum, while teachers from science backgrounds were not so interested in this class.
Concerning e-content development, the resource person had delivered the lecture and engaged the participants with some hands-on experience for developing the module.
Most of the participants (72) perceived that the session was fascinating, and they learned how to create e-content material with the help of open resources.
Three participants said that they developed video lectures in their respective subjects.
‘The Moodle MOOC is vital for us, and we know about the use of plagiarism software like “Turnitin” and “Urkund”,’ they said.
The session was very interactive.
The program also included some activities such as the use of screencasting, creating e-resource support, use of Google classroom, Google forms, practice teaching, group discussion, movie review, and presentation concerning the transaction of Module 4: Pedagogic Techniques and Teaching and Learning Methods.
Participants perceived that the lecturers delivered by the resource persons were very useful.
The majority of the participants said that they learned different approaches and skills of teaching for delivering the lessons in the classroom.
Almost all the participants said that they knew microteaching and its uses, development of teaching-learning material, development of comprehensive and practical and qualitative lesson planning, Bloom’s taxonomy, and the constructive approach of teaching.
Participants were asked to provide information on what they perceived to be the most valuable parts of their induction program.
Many stated the collaboration and support of the staff of the FDC and resource persons to be the most crucial aspect.
Regarding the problems faced by the participants and suggestions for reducing the issues, the researcher collected the information in the focus-group discussion and feedback from the participants at the end of the training program.
Some of the resource persons were excellent, and some others had not prepared well before taking the class.
Concerning the usefulness of group work, 50% of participants responded that group work was very useful for them.
Besides, participants (63%) acknowledged that they acquired new knowledge through discourse and active participation in the training program.
Most of the participants (63%) recommended that the training program was also beneficial to other faculty members.
The achievement test result reflects that out of 202 teachers, 173 gained an ‘A’ grade, which indicates that it was directly influenced by the quality of the course.
The results suggest that the effectiveness of the training program is improving the teaching and research skills of the newly qualified teachers.
It also indicates a high-quality, comprehensive induction program was provided to support new teachers (McGeehan 2019).
With this program, teachers of higher education gained the opportunity for selfdevelopment and to learn the latest innovations and advances in their teaching profession.
In this FIP program, teachers shared their ideas and best practices.
FIP has given opportunities to learn the latest pedagogies of the teaching subjects concerned, different assessment procedures and learning outcomes, competency-based learning, and related pedagogies such as experiential learning, storytelling approaches, and many more.
One of the prime concerns of FIP is to promote cooperative and collaborative teaching practices as they are found to be essential at tertiary-level teaching.
It ensures the creation of a space for faculty to share ideas and views which they can collaborate on in their teaching later on.
Collaboration brings positive changes in instructional style and learning environment.
To date, the sole purpose of teaching is not traditionally imparting knowledge, but the dissemination of knowledge and information replaces the earlier one.
Interactive learning engages teachers to design vibrant teaching strategies for their students to maximize the learning output.
On this take, the FIP validates its aim to reach the target audience in its most total sense.
FIP provides teachers with enrichment on vital issues pertaining to research ethics and academic integrity that enable them to know about originality in academic writing as well as making them aware of maintaining a distance from plagiarized content and resources.
Further, another crucial aspect in FIP is to strengthen the teachers with ICT tools and techniques to face the challenges of the time ahead.
Teachers in the FIP found that they get motivated intrinsically and extrinsically due to the platform provided by the FDC, where they explore themselves naturally.
They also get trained in academic leadership that will be culminated when they become head of the department or chair any positional leadership.
Knowing about the various assessment and evaluation tools is one of the significant achievements of this FIP as earlier to this training program, a teacher at tertiary level did not possess any teacher training experience, therefore it becomes an advantage for the future.
Feedback and reflections in the teaching profession have their relevance in making teaching effective and productive.
Lastly, FIP emboldens participant teachers to rationalize their thought process towards equity, equality, and inclusivity.
No society can grow harmoniously when the teachers who represent that society ignore these traits in their minds while indulging in the teaching-learning process.
McGeehan, A. 2019. “A Study of New Teachers’ Perceptions of Their Induction Programs.” Doctoral dissertation, Seton Hall University. Seton Hall University Dissertations and Theses (ETDs).