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Standards of Instruction

Aligned with Liberty University’s core mission and informed by established best practices, the Standards of Instruction provide comprehensive guidance for pedagogy, instruction, and service. Intended to support faculty, these standards present a foundational framework for teaching both residential and online courses. While not exhaustive in scope, the standards serve as an instrument for refining the quality of the educational experience for faculty and students. Practical applications of these standards are included; however, the examples that follow are not exhaustive.

Each standard in the Standards of Instruction comprises four distinct sections.

  1. Explanation of the Standard: Provides a high-level overview, capturing the spirit and intent of the standard in the context of the institution’s mission and values.
  2. Practical and Personal Application: Offers practical guidance on how faculty members can implement these standards in both residential and online courses.
  3. Course Application: Describes a range of activities and practices that reflect active engagement with the standard, offering clear examples of how the standard is integrated into educational practices.
  4. Support Tools & Strategies: Identifies tools and methodologies faculty can use to uphold the standard in consistent and measurable approaches. This section emphasizes a cooperative and consistent framework for enhancing educational quality and integrity.

 

Connecting to the Mission and Purpose of the Institution

To assist in promoting this standard, faculty members are recommended to:

  1. Encourage a commitment to the Christian life, one of personal integrity, sensitivity to the needs of others, social responsibility, and active communication of the Christian faith, and, as it is lived out, a life that leads people to Jesus Christ as the Lord of the universe and their own personal Savior.
  2. Promote the synthesis of academic knowledge and a biblical worldview that produces a maturing of spiritual, intellectual, social, and physical value-driven behavior.
  3. Model Christian faith and biblical worldview in instruction.

References: Liberty University’s Statement of Mission and Purpose. What We Believe: Liberty University’s Mission. (2023, July 11). https://www.liberty.edu/residential/what-we-believe/

Practical and Personal Application

Course Application

Support Tools & Strategies

Fostering an Inclusive and Accessible Educational Community

To assist in promoting this standard, faculty members will:

  1. Cultivate a course atmosphere that is welcoming and inclusive, both in physical and virtual settings, ensuring students professionally engage with academic confidence (Reeves et al., 2022).
  2. Provide diverse and accessible support systems, enabling effective communication and responsiveness to accommodate the varied needs of students.
  3. Maintain an open and approachable demeanor, offering guidance and support to promote a nurturing learning environment.
  4. Encourage active and meaningful participation in course materials, aiding in the development of students’ academic skills and personal growth.
  5. Verify that all course materials are appropriately adapted and accessible across different teaching modalities, ensuring equitable learning opportunities.
  6. Ensure comprehensive alignment and readiness of course materials, including assignments, rubrics, and digital resources, within the Learning Management System (LMS) before student access.
  7. Direct students to corresponding university resources or departments as needed (i.e., directing a struggling student to the online writing center).

References: Reeves, D., Frey, N., & Fisher, D. (2023). Confronting the crisis of engagement: Creating focus and resilience for students, staff, and communities. Corwin

Practical and Personal Application

Course Application

Support Tools & Strategies

Establishing Fair and Transparent Grading Practices

To assist in Establishing Fair and Transparent Grading Practices faculty members will:

  1. Recognize the significant impact of grading, feedback, and communication about grades on student development and learning.
  2. Grade strategically as an assessment and motivational tool that enhances student learning and fosters meaningful connections.
  3. Implement clear and consistent grading criteria that are in alignment with assignment objectives and evaluation rubrics.
  4. Offer prompt, constructive, and detailed feedback, focusing on both the content and structure, to aid in student improvement and success.
  5. Uphold the confidentiality and privacy of student records, including attendance, course details, and grades.
  6. Maintain impartiality and fairness in evaluating student participation, coursework, and requests for extensions or incomplete grades.

References: Reeves, D. (2023). Fearless grading: How to improve achievement, discipline, and culture through accurate and… fair grading. Archway Publishing.

Zakrajsek, T.D., & Nilson, L.B. (2023) Teaching at its best: A research-based resource for college instructors. Jossey-Bass

Practical and Personal Application

Course Application

Support Tools & Strategies

Nurturing Continuous Academic and Professional Growth

To assist in Nurturing Continuous Academic and Professional Growth, faculty members will:

  1. Engage in continuous professional growth and discipline-specific experiences.
  2. Remain abreast with academic and relevant industry trends and best practices.
  3. Actively contribute to the academic community through research, publications, presentations, and creative endeavors.
  4. Share expertise and insights with students and colleagues enriching the learning experience for students and fostering collaborative growth among colleagues.
  5. Uphold a high standard of scholarship and research proficiency, particularly in graduate programs and undergraduate programs where relevant.
  6. Regularly review and reflect on feedback from End-of-Course Surveys to continuously improve teaching methodologies and student engagement.

References: Liberty University’s statement of mission and purpose. What We Believe: Liberty University’s Mission. (2023, July 11). https://www.liberty.edu/residential/what-we-believe/

Practical and Personal Application

Course Application

Support Tools & Strategies

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