June 15, 2019
June 15, 2019
October 19, 2019
Faculty Development Constituent Committee
This paper presents the evidence-based practices of how an institutionalized, faculty development program has influenced student success in the STEM fields. While many universities are prioritizing active learning and student success, few are doing so at the broad campus-wide scale necessary to affect culture change. Rarely do universities, especially research intensive universities, attempt large scale efforts over the extended period of time required to systematically improve the quality of undergraduate education, especially with faculty and instructors who have not received much support in teaching prior to their first teaching experience. One exception is the Purdue University's "Instruction Matters: Purdue Academic Course Transformation" (IMPACT) program. The Faculty Learning Community (FLC) model is a cornerstone of the IMPACT faculty development program. The FLC is informed by research-based practices in teaching and learning, as well as motivation theories, more specifically, the motivational principles of Self-Determination Theory (SDT). In designing and evaluating the effectiveness of IMPACT, we use the SDT framework to assess the extent to which course transformations create a student-centered learning environment. We measure the satisfaction of the basic psychological needs of autonomy, competence, and relatedness, as well as the levels of self-determined motivation. Instructors whose needs for autonomy, competence, and relatedness are met, report more autonomous motivation for teaching, which in turn predict the implementation of effective teaching strategies, including higher order learning, collaborative learning, and integrative learning. Faculty view IMPACT as a valuable source of professional development that positively impacts both student learning outcomes and their own teaching practice. Participants, after implementing their transformed course, report significant increases in both student engagement and their own satisfaction with teaching as well as significant improvement in their pedagogical practices and experiences with classroom learning spaces. Over 80% of the courses taught by faculty who have gone through the IMPACT program are perceived by students to be highly student-centered. Students exposed to highly student-centered classrooms report significantly higher levels of perceived competence, ability to transfer knowledge to other relevant courses and experiences, and higher learning gains. Furthermore, autonomy supportive, student-centered learning environments are associated with positive outcomes, especially for students with lower levels of academic achievement, which appears can reduce the achievement gaps for underprepared students. Evidence of this can be seen in three, undergraduate STEM courses, redesigned through the IMPACT program, where there has been a marked improvement in student success improvements represented in a student getting a D, F, or withdrawing from the course. The three courses—a mechanical engineering course, Calculus, and Chemistry—have had a reduction of 20-30% in DFW rates since being redesigned. When presenting this paper as a part of a roundtable discussion, the presenters and audience will discuss how aspects of the IMPACT program connect to audience contexts and goals as well as new opportunities to improve student outcomes based on the discussion of our program.
FitzSimmons, J., & Levesque-Bristol, C., & Bonem, E. M., & Lott, E. A., & Parker, L. C. (2019, June), Education Redesigned: Impacting Teaching and Learning through a Faculty Development Course Redesign Program Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32688
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