The following presents best practices approaches found in higher education today. Descriptions of the practices and their functions are provided. This is followed by a discussion of how the practices relate to innovative excellence.
Best practices in higher education today must include the goal of the college/university and must not loose sight of the "pursuit, sharing, integration, and application of knowledge" (Diamond, Gardiner, & Wheeler, 2002; Theall, 2002, p. 237). Best practices must include approaches that consider the culture, strengths, and priorities of all stakeholders (Guskin & Marcy, 2002; Theall, 2002). Today's diverse university requires strategies that identify resistance to change, communicate with those involved, and includes quality control measures (Diamond, 2002; Srikanthan & Dalrymple, 2003; Theall, 2002). Theall reported that best practices must be defended and supported with quality evaluation measures.
Examples of best practices include the use of expert opinion and advice, hiring of qualified staff with faculty evaluation, regular analysis of data for decision-making, use of local examples of success for modeling, use of pilot tests prior to implementation of procedures, establishment of a grievance procedure, the building of a database of institutional information to serve the needs of all stakeholders, and regular evaluation of the evaluation system and evaluators (Theall, 2002). In addition, best practices must include motivational techniques that keep stakeholders interested, such as open and ongoing dialogue between faculty, use of adequate resources for support and improvement, and a reward system for teachers and students (Theall, 2002).
The use of technology is another important best practice (Gilbert & Ehrmann, 2002). Gilbert and Ehrmann pointed out that the benefits of using technology in colleges and universities include gains in content such as with online resources for inqui...