Faculty Focus: Practical Strategies for Creating a Better Learning Environment

Faculty Focus: Practical Strategies for Creating a Better Learning Environment
Photo by Faculty Focus Website

In higher education, faculty enjoy other colleagues' perspectives on new ideas and tactics they can incorporate into their lessons and classrooms. Many like to share what may or may not be working and seek others' advice on what could be changed. The website Faculty Focus takes these ideas and shares them publicly with others. Many of the authors on this website are current or former faculty, instructional designers, or have other roles in some educational capacity. 

Exploring the World of Faculty Focus

Articles written on Faculty Focus share a friendly but informative tone. Sometimes, articles written by faculty in their expertise areas can come off as stuffy and may over-explain the context of the topic. However, this site is particular in its submission guidelines. Here are some of their guideline examples:

  • Submissions should consist of no more than 25% theoretical information; the rest should be practical advice for teachers to use.
  • Due to the nature of online newsletters, authors are encouraged to adopt a more practical and informal tone than is expected in academic journals.

Faculty Focus is not seeking a complete dissertation on a new learning style. The website intends to share important and effective learning outcomes in a way that is easy to comprehend and brief to read.

While authors on this site are primarily faculty members, the submission guidelines open up the target audience to anyone interested in learning more about different perspectives in higher education. Topics covered are related to curriculum, AI, learning goals, etc. 

Photo from Faculty Focus Website

I was introduced to this website by English Faculty members who work within my department in the School of Arts & Humanities. Three faculty members in the department I work for have had their submissions published on this website, some with over 5,000 views on their articles. Please feel free to read some of their work here

What I like about the writing style of this site is many of the faculty are well-spoken, especially in the context of their areas. The language is easy to read, and anyone who comes across an article on this site can easily read it. The articles are usually brief but informative, so the author must do some heavy editing to ensure they get their content across promptly. 

This website was one of the inspirations for my web portfolio in that the designers created a clean and elegant site that is easy to navigate. The site has no obscure colors, with a color scheme mainly in black and white, other than the photos they choose for their articles. The choices in font style look to be from the Ariel family and are a great addition to the site's overall design. All text looks elegant and easy on the eyes, allowing for a good reading flow.

Skimming the site to find an article that may interest you is effortless, and no overwhelming ads distract you from reading content or deter you from exploring the website. A scrolling article gallery is shown at the top of the webpage, highlighting featured articles, and below is a blog-style list of articles showing the most recent post first. The site does not feel packed with information, allowing users to scroll at their own pace and enjoy the content.

Faculty Focus demonstrates that careful design choices are important when creating websites everyone can access and benefit from. Clear navigation and well-organized menus contribute to a positive user experience, allowing users to find information quickly. Careful font choices and contrasting color schemes aid in engaging users and making content accessible. 

Adding multimedia elements can enhance engagement; however, providing features such as alternative text is necessary for accessibility for all users. Finally, requiring submission guidelines allows for a cohesive flow of tone and language for all authors of different literacy backgrounds. 

Overall, I recommend glancing at the Faculty Focus website to view writing examples with submission guidelines to see if you'd ever be interested in submitting your work to an online publication.

Amanda Austin

Amanda Austin

I am a passionate writing professional with skills in technical and professional writing, blogging & web design, a career in higher education, and an M.A. in Technical and Professional Writing.
Brunswick, Georgia