Faculty Retreat Focuses on Innovation in Teaching

Two dozen Merrimack College faculty members, representing 15 departments across various schools, recently spent two days engaging in discussions and activities about pedagogical innovations and best practices for teaching and learning.

The retreat was facilitated by professor emerita Joye Hardiman, interim director of the Washington Center at the Evergreen State College.

“Many faculty have expressed interest in team teaching,” said professor Simona Sharoni, director of Merrimack’s Interdisciplinary Institute, “The retreat was designed to start a campus-wide conversation about the relationship between curriculum innovations like team teaching, faculty development, and student success.”

With this in mind, Sharoni collaborated with Kathryn Nielsen, associate provost and director of the Center for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL), and Peter Ellard, dean of the Academic Success Center.

“The Academic Success Center was happy to cosponsor the event,” said Ellard, who participated in the retreat alongside three members of his staff. “Any movement Merrimack makes to implement curriculum innovations like team teaching is likely to deepen student engagement and have a positive impact on student success and retention.”

Hardiman, who has four decades of experience as a leader in higher education, described the faculty who attended the retreat as “one of the best groups” she has ever worked with. She added that the experience holds the potential to galvanize “a movement to transform teaching and learning at Merrimack College.”