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The Impact of Free Lunch on Attendance at Voluntary Teacher Training

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Supporting Faculty in Course Development and Pedagogy

Tagged Division

Continuing Professional Development

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Paper Authors


Todd Easton Kansas State University

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Todd Easton received a B.S. in Mathematics with a minor in Statistics from Brigham Young University (1993), an M.S. in Operations Research from Stanford University (1994) and a Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology (1999). He worked as a post-doctoral fellow at Georgia Institute of Technology until 2001, when he joined the Industrial and Manufacturing Systems Engineering department at Kansas State University. He is a University Distinguished Teaching Scholar and an Assistant Professor. His research interests are in combinatorial optimization and teaching techniques.

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Even though most faculty spend over one quarter of their time engaged in teaching activities, universities do not require continued teacher training. Thus, most attendees at teacher training events have voluntarily come to the event and sacrificed time away from other duties or opportunities. Successful teacher training programs must first have attendees. This paper presents a case study showing that free lunch increases faculty attendance by about 36% at teacher training workshops. Even though offering free lunch increases attendance by a statistically significant amount, the number of samples is small and causality should not necessarily be inferred. Since faculty sacrifice time to attend, the paper also discusses the importance of the quality and speed of such workshops. Some suggestions for ideas and structure are provided. Given the cost of lunch and the potential long-term benefits of improving a faculty member’s teaching, future teacher training sessions should offer free lunch or other benefits to increase attendance.

Easton, T. (2018, June), The Impact of Free Lunch on Attendance at Voluntary Teacher Training Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--31107

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