Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Tasking your staff members to do what they love: American University's Green Teaching Certificate Program

Though It has been nine years since I stepped down as Director of American University’s Centre for Teaching, Research and Learning (CTRL)  and eight years since I became Emeritus Professor, I still receive announcements of Centre Programs. Yesterday, I received the following announcement from Anna Olsson, Assistant Director of Teaching and Learning Resources.

As you are getting ready for your fall courses, this is a great time to consider joining over 500 AU faculty members and become a Certified Green Teacher.  AU's Green Teaching Program, which both has won a national award and been adopted by six other universities around the country, allows faculty to choose from a list of sustainability measures to collect points towards a Green Teaching Certificate for their courses. The process only takes ten minutes, and if certified, your 2017-2018 course syllabi and Blackboard pages will be awarded a Green Teaching Certificate Seal.  Learn more, and start your Green Teaching Certificate Application

The “Award winning Green Teaching Program,” described in the CTRL message offers an example of one of my favorite management principles:  find out what colleagues in your organization most enjoy doing and create opportunities for them to do it as part of their responsibilities. 
Some years ago, Anna Olsson was Director of a CTRL facility called “The “Faculty Corner.  It was combination lounge and teaching, learning and IT support resource for faculty members.  Free amenities were available.  There was a great library of teaching and learning books and other resources.  There were always two or more of our best consultants available for face-to-face assistance.

One day, I was hanging out in the Faculty Corner;  Anna and I were speaking.  She was an environmentally conscious staff member and was bemoaning what she viewed as an excessive use of paper in our teaching activities.  “Create a program to address the problem,” I suggested; “you will have my full support and any resources you need.”  Anna’s creation was the Award Winning Green Teaching Certificate  Program. 


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