Category Archives: From the Desk of Dr. Easley

The Value of a Faculty Framework

Last issue, I introduced the general outline of a new framework for training, developing, and evaluating faculty. At our AGS Faculty meeting held recently on January 31, we presented this to the faculty in attendance and had some very rich discussion.

4CQ-model-12We presented the visual model shown here and briefly explained each area.

Along with a host of other great features and information, we’ve added a whole section here on the Connect:ED faculty site just for the 4CQ model. As we go, we’ll continue to add important and useful resources to this section.

NOTE: To those of you who have already seen this model and interacted with it some, we have made a major revision to it based on feedback from the January AGS meeting. The new version, which is shown here, has been streamlined from 16 characteristics down to 12, making the model much easier to use without being any less effective.

Take some time and look through the materials we’ve posted here at the 4CQ Model. Feel free to jump over and take a look at the tools we’ve put in this section of the site. Click the link to make the leap. You can also access this section via the menu at the top of the Connect:ED blog site.

I want to ask you to reflect on the questions similar to what we asked each table to discuss at the winter faculty meeting. These questions really help us better understand why such a framework is valuable. Those questions are:

  • Why are these 4 Qualities important for an AGS instructor to possess and demonstrate?
  • Which of the  4 Qualities do you feel you struggle the most with as an AGS Adjunct?
  • In which of the 12 characteristics do you think you are really strong? Which ones do you see you could improve on?
  • Which of the 4 Qualities or 12 Characteristics do you feel you or other faculty need more support or recognition from AGS or the institution?
  • What is one insight from this model that you could takeaway and immediately apply to improve your quality as an adjunct faculty member?
  • What important characteristics, behaviors, or attitudes are missing from this quadrant of the 4C Model?

Want to go the extra mile? I’d love if some of you were willing to think through these questions and then send me your reflections via email at

Over the next several issues, we will highlight different ones of the 16 characteristics. We will share from the material we are now using in our Faculty Online Learning Training course. It will also be included in the Advanced Online Teacher training that is going to be developed later this year.

Also, just as a reminder: I am regularly putting some good stuff out on Twitter as a handy, fast way to share ideas and resources. You can follow me @bryeasley. I am using #OKWUonline to flag related posts, so if you are using Twitter, just do a hashtag search for #OKWUonline and you’ll have a good library of resources and ideas. Of course, you can also then contribute to that dialogue in the Twitterverse by posting a helpful link or a good idea. Just add the hashtag and it will join the stream!

Bryan Easley Signature


Dr. Easley

Model for Effective Higher Education Instructors

Over the last few months, I have been developing a model to help describe what a quality faculty member looks like. I’ve had some great help from a few colleagues to sharpen and grow this tool, and it’s very much a work in-progress. But we will be rolling it out as a core component in our approach to teaching in the OKWU AGS program. The model consists of 4 Core Qualities of productive, effective higher education instructors, whether adjunct or full-time. These qualities are Competence, Caring, Commitment, and Connection:

  • COMPETENCE deals with the instructor’s knowledge/expertise in the subject matter, teaching methodology, and the learning tools and setting.
  • CARING speaks of the instructor’s awareness of and concern for student needs, life circumstances, academic goals, and learning outcomes.
  • COMMITMENT relates to the instructor’s attitude toward institutional / program concerns, their role in the learning process, and their willingness to engage the teaching process and make it their own.
  • CONNECTION describes the instructor’s skill and activity aimed at developing and sustaining relationships with the students, being accessible, conveying information, being involved, and reproducing themselves as model-mentors.

Each Core Quality is broken down into 4 Quality Practices (16 in all). These 16 practices create a framework for understanding and talking about our work as instructors and teachers of adult students in undergraduate and graduate studies. The goal of the model is for these 16 practices to provide meaningful, clear direction as to what faculty should be actually doing, in such a way as to help you feel empowered and released to be your very best self in the classroom!

In each subsequent issue of Connect:ED, I will highlight a different aspect of the model as a way of providing some small measure of on-going discussion and reflection. I would encourage you to add your own thoughts to the conversation via Twitter, email, or blogs.

We are blessed to have each of you on board as an adjunct faculty member at OKWU!  We’ll see you in the classroom!

Dr. Bryan Easley, Dean of Online EducationBryan Easley Signature