Abstract

For more effective teaching and learning in undergraduate engineering education, there is a strong need for faculty professional development to instruction from instructor-centered, information-transmission teaching by lecture to more student-centered, conceptual-change learning by active learning through student engagement. The National Science Foundation IUSE (Improving Undergraduate STEM Education) program has funded a large-scale faculty development program at a large southwestern university called Just-in-Time-Teaching with Two Way Formative Feedback for Multiple Disciplinary (JTFD) Programs. The project scales to seven engineering disciplines with 84 faculty using a train-the-trainer model to engage faculty in year-long apprenticeships with a semester of eight biweekly workshops followed by a semester of six biweekly mentor-supported classroom innovation implementation. Prior project research has shown that evidence-based practices such as student engagement, contextualization of content, and two-way formative feedback can improve student attitudes, achievement and persistence. Research also shows that changing faculty teaching beliefs toward evidence-based strategies and practices can be difficult, but the transition can be eased when disciplinary communities of practice support faculty while they are changing their beliefs and practices. The personal interactions that occur within and between the disciplinary communities of practice are being characterized in JTFD with social network analysis (SNA) and will be correlated to shifts, across time, in the beliefs and practice of the faculty toward student-centered instruction. Prior project SNA research has shown faculty who are socially better connected to one another also teach with more student-centered classroom practices, as found from classroom observations. This was assessed by a tool called Reformed Teaching Observation Protocol (RTOP) which has 25 items related to evidence based practice and is used by trained observers to assess classroom practice. Faculty beliefs and classroom practice are being assessed in JTFD with surveys, open ended questions and classroom observations. Faculty motivation is being assessed with a new survey using expectancy-value theory. The impact of faculty changes in classroom practice results have been collected during the spring 2016 term from four pairs of disciplinary leader trainers who completed the eight workshops. One result showed that the effect of the eight workshops on faculty's student-centered classroom practice, as measured by RTOP, was an improvement between 34% and 65%. Another result showed that, for two faculty, compared to the same class for a prior semester, significant gains in the student grade ratio (the ratio of A's plus B's to C's plus D's plus E's plus W's). Thus, the cohort of eight faculty trained during the Spring 2016 semester shifted their practice significantly from teacher-centered instruction to student-centered learning as shown by the classroom observation RTOP results. Because of the limited number of participants other measures of change in faculty beliefs and motivation were positive, but did not show statistical significance. Future cohorts with larger numbers of participants can reveal correlations between faculty beliefs, motivation and classroom practice.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
Volume2017-June
StatePublished - Jun 24 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)

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