Faculty Development and Student Learning
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Colleges and universities across the US have created special initiatives to promote faculty development, but to date there has been little research to determine whether such programs have an impact on students' learning. Faculty Development and Student Learning reports the results of a multi-year study undertaken by faculty at Carleton College and Washington State University to assess how students' learning is affected by faculty members' efforts to become better teachers. Extending recent research in the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) to assessment of faculty development and its effectiveness, the authors show that faculty participation in professional development activities positively affects classroom pedagogy, student learning, and the overall culture of teaching and learning in a college or university.

Foreword: Pathways from Faculty Learning to Student Learning and Beyond, by Mary Taylor Huber

1. Connecting Faculty Learning to Student Learning

2. Sites of Faculty Learning

3. Seeking the Evidence

4. Faculty Learning Applied

5. Spreading the Benefits

6. Reaching Students

7. Faculty Development Matters

Afterword, by Richard Haswell

Appendix 1: Critical and Integrative Thinking Forms, Washington State University, 2009

Appendix 2: Methodologies in the Study

Appendix 3: History of the Critical Thinking Rubric

Appendix 4: Rating Forms






Publié par
Date de parution 15 février 2016
Nombre de lectures 0
EAN13 9780253018861
Langue English
Poids de l'ouvrage 1 Mo

Informations légales : prix de location à la page 0,1250€. Cette information est donnée uniquement à titre indicatif conformément à la législation en vigueur.


Editors Jennifer Meta Robinson Whitney M. Schlegel Mary Taylor Huber Pat Hutchings
Assessing the Connections
William Condon, Ellen R. Iverson, Cathryn A. Manduca, Carol Rutz, and Gudrun Willett
Foreword by Mary Taylor Huber Afterword by Richard Haswell
This book is a publication of
Indiana University Press Office of Scholarly Publishing Herman B Wells Library 350 1320 East 10th Street Bloomington, Indiana 47405 USA
2016 by William Condon, Ellen R. Iverson, Cathryn A. Manduca, Carol Rutz, and Gudrun Willett
All rights reserved
No part of this book may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying and recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher. The Association of American University Presses Resolution on Permissions constitutes the only exception to this prohibition.
The paper used in this publication meets the minimum requirements of the American National Standard for Information Sciences-Permanence of Paper for Printed Library Materials, ANSI Z 39.48-1992.
Manufactured in the United States of America
Cataloging information is available from the Library of Congress
ISBN 978-0-253-01878-6 (cloth)
ISBN 978-0-253-01886-1 (ebook)
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Foreword: Pathways from Faculty Learning to Student Learning and Beyond / Mary Taylor Huber
1 Connecting Faculty Learning to Student Learning
2 Sites of Faculty Learning
3 Seeking the Evidence
4 Faculty Learning Applied
5 Spreading the Benefits
6 Reaching Students
7 Faculty Development Matters
Afterword: Afterward / Richard Haswell
Appendix 1. Guide to Rating Critical Thinking
Appendix 2. Methodologies in the Study at Carleton
Appendix 3. History of the Critical Thinking Rubric
Appendix 4. Rating Forms
Pathways from Faculty Learning to Student Learning and Beyond
Mary Taylor Huber
One of the questions many of us are often asked is whether engagement in the scholarship of teaching and learning leads to improvements in student learning. How do/would you answer this question? What would you point to as evidence for this connection on your campus? 1
Ask a question like this to directors of faculty development programs of any kind and you will likely find what my colleagues and I found among leaders of campus initiatives to support the scholarship of teaching and learning: puzzlement and frustration over the difficulties of documentation. (Hutchings, Huber, and Ciccone 2011, 137)
F ACULTY D EVELOPMENT AND Student Learning: Assessing the Connections provides a model for mapping this treacherous territory, where so many educators fear to tread. The authors, a multidisciplinary team from Carleton College, the Science Education Resource Center (SERC) at Carleton, and Washington State University (WSU), trace the effects on their two campuses of initiatives that have encouraged faculty to look closely and critically at student learning as a way to improve instruction in writing, critical thinking, and quantitative reasoning. I have been privileged to serve as an advisor to the Tracer Project (as it is known) since 2008, joining the authors in conversation as they sought ways to answer hard, puzzling questions about whether well-designed faculty development programs actually change participants approaches to teaching, improve the quality of student work produced in those classrooms, and contribute to a more generative and productive culture of teaching and learning on campus.
The challenges of documenting connections between faculty learning and student learning are, famously, legion. It s one thing to engage faculty in programs that invite classroom inquiry and innovation, as many faculty development programs do. But it s another thing to show that faculty actually make changes in their teaching as a result of that engagement, that these pedagogical innovations (new goals, activities, assessments, etc.) in turn lead to changes in student learning, and that all of these changes are in fact improvements! This is a tall order, hard enough to show case by case. But what happens over time? Do participants continue to innovate in later offerings of their course, or in other courses they teach? And what happens elsewhere on campus? Do colleagues learn from each other? Do expectations rise on campus for what is possible and desirable for teachers to do?
These questions are as important as they are difficult to answer. Higher education is awash in initiatives that encourage faculty to adopt evidence-based teaching practices. But what evidence do we have that these initiatives will translate into the promised learning improvements? Research may have shown that evidence-based practices, such as active forms of instruction in the sciences (Freeman et al. 2014) or high impact practices (Kuh 2008), can work well in a number of different disciplines, class sizes, or institutional settings. But can they do so on one s own campus? How well do these practices travel from the workshops where they are introduced, to participants own classrooms and to their students learning?
The scholarship of teaching and learning (SoTL) provides a useful case in point. SoTL practitioners ask questions about student learning in their classrooms or programs, gather and analyze evidence to help answer those questions, and try out new insights about learning in their pedagogy and course designs, and then make their findings public for colleagues to review, critique, and build upon. Campus programs to encourage SoTL typically provide small grants or fellowships for faculty to engage in this work; bring fellows together regularly to discuss relevant literature and exchange ideas; offer workshops on methods, research ethics, and so on; provide a venue for posters and presentations at the end of the fellowship period; and (often) support travel to conferences where fellows can engage with wider communities of colleagues.
Participants in such programs often report that the experience has been transformative for them as teachers; that gaining a better understanding of their students has encouraged them to change goals, assignments, and/or assessments; and that they have evidence that more of their students were doing better work as a result (Huber and Hutchings 2005; see also Voelker and Martin 2013). Yet what evidence do program directors have that supporting SoTL is a good investment for the campus or that it has led to improvements in student learning overall?
My colleagues and I asked about such connections in the survey mentioned at the start of this foreword, and fifty-two SoTL program directors wrote thoughtful replies. Many noted that improvements in student learning could be shown from individual projects, but to give a sense of the whole was much more difficult. Many could cite good reasons for why one might expect a positive effect ( more faculty spend more time and effort on teaching which might improve learning ) but worried about the difficulties of demonstrating direct results. Indeed, some doubted that finding evidence for an effect on learning was possible ( I don t think there is a straight path from an intervention to improvement in student learning ). Several were, frankly, flummoxed: This is a vexed question, one respondent said. It is a major concern, wrote another. And one noted, frankly, We need help here (see Huber, Hutchings, and Ciccone 2011, 136-137).
Faculty Development and Student Learning could not be timelier. Over the past twenty-five years or so, a shift in focus from teaching toward learning has energized a reform movement that encompasses many initiatives with similar goals. Whether aimed broadly at supporting faculty in the scholarship of teaching and learning or focused more closely on teaching for a particular learning goal, these programs are engaging ever larger numbers of educators across academic ranks and roles. The effects, accelerated by external pressures for accountability, have transformed college teaching from what was once a sleepy academic backwater into a buzzing hive of efforts to improve the learning experience for college students, increase rates of completion, and raise-and effectively measure-levels of achievement.
You can see evidence of this transformation in the growth of faculty development opportunities around the world. Training for graduate student teaching assistants has been on the rise, the numbers of faculty development centers have increased, their programming has become more comprehensive, and, in some countries, their courses for new faculty are even required. Campus centers now assist faculty in incorporating technology into the classroom and support instructors of freshman seminars. Programs offer pedagogies that involve students more deeply, assignments that elicit higher levels of learning and performance, and assessments that can better inform new course designs.
One might think that faculty development would be secure as a major priority on campuses that are eager to take advantage of the many new possibilities for teaching and learning available today. But, sadly, that is not always the case. Because money is tight and institutional success is often tied to more visible priorities than pedagogy, funding for faculty development and other supports for teaching innovation remains vulnerable. Indeed, one of the guiding questions for the authors of Faculty Development and Student Learning has been how best to show that

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