Graphic with a word MINIMAL bu Fakurian Design on Unsplash

Presenting a “MINIMAL” approach to faculty training

My presentation, titled Just What I Needed: a Prototype of Individualized Faculty Training Course that introduces an innovative “MINIMAL” approach to faculty training was accepted for the TEACHx 2022 conference at Northwestern U. that will take place on May 18, 2022 at 11:35am – 12:20pm in rm. Northwestern B.

Over the last few years, my department at a large research university has successfully used an in-house-developed, automated Course Kick-Off Checklist = (CKC): all course-lead faculty are asked to complete the checklist before each semester starts: their answers to 15-22 questions let our small but dynamic team plan and anticipate their needs better, and deliver timely support during the semester.

The checklist – inspired by Atul Gawande’s best-selling 2009 book “The Checklist Manifesto,” [Gawande’s own very brief summary – 5:58 mins; or try a 60 min full overview] is adaptive, to save faculty time, and tested so that it can be completed in less than five minutes.

This year, we are testing a new approach to faculty training – we will use the data collected via our Course Kick-Off Checklist to develop an individualized faculty training that offers instructors content customized based on their responses to CKC, one that matches their individual, course-specific needs. This will let us offer a significantly shorter, more focused and effective faculty training experience than a more traditional, one-size-fits-all approach where all faculty complete the same training program.

My 45-minute presentation session at TEACHx 2022 (Northwestern U.) outlines the process of developing both the adaptive course checklist to determine faculty needs, and subsequent logistics of designing an individualized (fully online) training program. Actual examples, forms, and training modules will be presented, as well as lessons learned during the development process.


  • Understand and be able to list the benefits (and downsides) of using checklists to improve technology support in college-level courses
  • Understand and be able to apply basic principles of designing adaptive/interactive checklists that have realistic chances of success
  • Understand both the benefits and ways to mitigate the downsides of creating individualized instructional / development experiences for faculty.
  • Evaluate the applicability and potential usefulness of presented solutions to one’s individual courses, program, or department.


  • Interactive audience polling was be used to explore:
    • Key areas of “pressure points” faculty experience in using technology and obtaining adequate technical support for their teaching;
    • Reasons for SIGNIFICANT differences in population behavior (transplant donor participation)
    • Effects of small differences on human behavior (task completion / tetanus shot)
    • Short small-group (2-4 people) interaction (5 minutes or less) is planned to offer faculty a real, hands-on experience of using an existing Course Kick-Off Checklist
  • Time for a brief Q&A question and an option to follow-up with additional questions via email or online contact was included

Post photo by Fakurian Design on Unsplash