Virtual On line
June 22, 2020
June 22, 2020
June 26, 2021
NSF Grantees Poster Session
This NSF DUE-funded project has supported the scaling and study of the SIMPLE Design model for faculty teaching development. The SIMPLE Design model provides a framework for ongoing teaching development in discipline-specific peer groups (SIMPLE groups) designed to support instructors as the learn about and try new research-supported interactive teaching strategies. Broadly, these teaching strategies may be characterized as active, inquiry-based, student/learner-centered The SIMPLE model emphasizes a people-driven approach; participants in SIMPLE groups bring their own teaching challenges to the group and identify potential ways to address those challenges from a menu of options introduced and discussed by the group.
Over the life of the project, SIMPLE groups have been active in six STEM departments at a large public research university. Groups have been active for as little as one academic year and as long as three academic years. Data on group functioning has been collected via the following mechanisms: Yearly individual interviews with group leaders and participants, recordings of monthly group leader meetings, monthly “check-in” forms completed by group leaders to provide information about activities of their groups, topics they discussed, and challenges they faced.
Implementation of SIMPLE teaching development groups in six departments, each with a unique culture and a unique set of teaching challenges, provided an opportunity to identify lessons learned for best practices in creation, leadership, and support of ongoing teaching development groups. The full paper will describe the lessons learned through this project and data that support them. Here, we give two examples. One important take away is an appreciation of the nature and speed of teaching change. Teaching changes are not instantaneous; the process of identifying a strategy, adapting it to one’s needs, implementing, revising, and firmly adopting takes several semesters. That said, these slow changes are sustained once adopted, and by engaging in a long-term process of incremental change, instructors are making larger overall changes to their teaching. Hence, ongoing support for teaching development groups is necessary for sustained change. Analysis of data collected through this project also highlighted the value of discipline-based SIMPLE groups. Discipline-focused groups allow instructors to engage in deeper, informed discussions about the challenges presented by certain content and about how various courses in a curriculum are linked.
Nelson, J. K., & Hjalmarson, M., & Samaras, A. P., & Bland, L. C. (2020, June), Scaling up the SIMPLE Design Model for Faculty Development: Lessons Learned Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35179
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