June 18, 2006
June 18, 2006
June 21, 2006
11.12.1 - 11.12.18
A Case Study to Explore Learning during a Faculty Development Workshop
Abstract: A central mission in the educational research community is to improve learning. The purpose of this project was to identify key factors that mediate in learning in the context of a fac- ulty development workshop focused on assessment. Data were collected by a six person research-participant team using multiple approaches: direct observations, pre-workshop surveys; semi-structured interviews; a post-workshop prioritization survey; and a workshop e-journal. Analysis and triangulation of data revealed the five most significant factors impacting learning: (a) put the learners in the role of performer and provide assessment that helps the learners im- prove their performance, (b) concept attainment (especially distinguishing between assessment and evaluation), (c) modeling of best practices by the facilitator, (d) ongoing collaboration be- tween participants throughout the workshop, and (e) schema that allowed participants to see commonalities in different types of assessment. Since learning is a complex process, attention should be given to all design elements in order to produce an enriched learning environment.
1. Introduction In education, there is an emerging revolution in learning. This revolution, driven by external re- alities such as globalization, sustainability, changing societal values, and economics, will be em- powered by research-based knowledge of “how people learn.” To characterize learning, we use the concept of a learning environment. A learning environment is the complex of factors, both internal and external to a context, that act on a community of people to influence construction of knowledge, development of skills, and development of identity. Examples of learning environ- ments include: a classroom, a workshop, an academic department, a research team, a family, an organizational unit in a company, and a professional community. An enriched learning environ- ment is an environment that is highly effective in producing growth in people that interact in the environment.
One way to think about learning environments is through the lens of design. From a design viewpoint, there are factors that the instructor or manager can control (independent variables) and corresponding dependent variables that result from the environment. Here, the independent or controllable variables are called “design elements” or “factors.” The present study focused on identifying design elements in the context of a faculty development workshop in the area of as- sessment. The research question was: “For professors who are improving their knowledge of assessment and their ability to effectively assess others, what factors (design elements) or com- binations of factors mediate in learning, attitudinal changes, and performance improvements?” Important reasons to research faculty development include (a) effective faculty development produces “great coaches” who bring out the best in others, and (b) impacting a small community of professors impacts many students.
In summary, the objectives of the study were to identity factors that can be designed into a learn- ing environment in order to elevate learning to high levels.
Elger, D., & Metlen, S., & Carson, R., & Utschig, T., & Cordon, D., & Racine, M., & Beyerlein, S. (2006, June), A Case Study To Explore Learning During A Faculty Development Workshop Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--924
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