Coaching and feedback in a faculty professional development program that integrates the entrepreneurial mindset and pedagogical best practices into capstone design courses

Lindy Hamilton Mayled, Lydia Ross, James Collofello, Stephen J. Krause, Keith D. Hjelmstad, Brent James Sebold, Sarah Hoyt

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This evidence-based practice paper reports on the impact of individualized coaching as part of a broader professional development program for capstone engineering faculty. Research shows that coaching can help improve the ways that faculty conceptualize their classes, implement new ideas into their teaching, and facilitate incorporation of more diverse pedagogical approaches. An increased emphasis on pedagogical practices and effective teaching has resulted in the growth of professional development programs for faculty in higher education. However, coaching, or targeted one-on-one discussions about teaching strategies and practices, is still quite rare in post-secondary settings. This study examines the effect of individualized faculty coaching as part of a professional development program for engineering faculty teaching capstone courses across multiple disciplines at a large southwestern university. The project, funded by the Kern Family Foundation, began in fall of 2018 with the aim of institutionalizing the entrepreneurial mindset (EM), improving and expanding evidence-based pedagogical strategies in capstone courses, and creating a faculty Community of Practice to share resources and best classroom practices. Sixteen capstone faculty from multiple engineering disciplines participated in three workshops and three coaching sessions in the fall semester. The workshops promoted the EM and evidence-based pedagogical best practice and covered topics including: (a) 'cultivating curiosity' for opportunity recognition, (b) writing measurable student learning objectives, (c) 'making connections' in the design process, (d) teamwork and cooperative and collaborative learning, (e) reflection on how and when these practices could be institutionalized in the capstone course. Faculty participated in monthly group workshops followed by individual coaching sessions with two members of the professional development leadership team. The two-member coaching team was comprised of two “experts” - one in the EM and the other in pedagogical practices. The coaching sessions included open-ended questions for faculty reflection on implementation of EM and instructional teaching strategies. Coaching sessions were documented through a Google form, which captured coaching discussion details on the following: (i) pedagogy-related topics discussed during the coaching session, (ii) EM-related topics discussed during the coaching session, (iii) faculty requests for additional information/resources, and (iv) summary of the discussion and available faculty exemplars. This study focuses on both the quantitative and open-ended qualitative items to characterize common themes brought up during the coaching meetings, measure change across the semester on discussion and implementation of classroom strategies, and assessment of the effectiveness of the workshop and coaching meetings. This data is evaluated in conjunction with faculty interviews and end-of-semester faculty surveys to gauge the effectiveness of the workshop and coaching sessions for implementation and accountability of project goals. Initial analysis indicates that professional development, combined with coaching, is effective in supporting faculty with integration of both the entrepreneurial mindset and pedagogical best practices into their capstone design courses. The authors look forward to presenting these results through an interactive presentation using audience response/virtual vision board technology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Jun 15 2019
Event126th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: Charged Up for the Next 125 Years, ASEE 2019 - Tampa, United States
Duration: Jun 15 2019Jun 19 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)


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