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Professional Development Needs of Junior Faculty: A Survey Study in a Public University in Turkey

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2017-08-01
The aim of the current study was to examine professional development needs of junior faculty and their preferences in relation to time, delivery format, and announcement of any professional development activity to be offered by their institution. The study had a survey design. A total of 73 faculty responded to the “Online Faculty Needs Assessment Survey (FNAS)”. FNAS included six professional development areas as, “teaching and learning”, “relations with students”, “syllabus and curriculum design”, “assessment”, “instructional technology” and “professional development”. The results of the current study showed that the junior faculty expressed strong need for training on project-based learning, teaching large classes, motivating students, encouraging students about academic integrity, designing activities, assignments, and projects, preparing effective exams, giving constructive feedback, developing course website, integrating instructional technology into courses, and preparing for tenure and promotion. Regarding the duration, time and delivery format of professional development activities, 60-minute seminars specific to departments or college held just before the academic semester was the most preferred one. It is believed that such needs assessment studies would provide valuable information to decision makers at higher education institutions about the professional development areas that faculty members may need support and different kinds of services that could be designed and offered to meet those needs.