What Encourages Academic Staff to Engage in Systematic, Sustained Change in Teaching Practices?

Jessie Moore, Katarina Mårtensson, Torgny Roxå, Deandra Little, Peter Felten, Kathryn Sutherland, David Green, Beth Marquis

Forskningsoutput: KonferensbidragKonferensabstractPeer review


Representing an international, multi-institutional research team, the panel presents a theoretical framework for understanding what prompts academic staff/faculty to change towards sustained use of pedagogies that make a meaningful difference in student learning. The theory grows out of a synthesis of literature on: the role of leadership and resources in emerging changes to teaching practices (Gibbs, Knapper, & Piccinin, 2008; Roxå & Mårtensson, 2012), microcultures in the knowledge-centric levels of higher education (Roxå, 2014; Roxå & Mårtensson, 2015), high-impact educational practices (Kuh, 2008), productive disruptions (Glassner and Powers, 2011; Bass, 2012), organizational change (Stensaker 2006; Trowler, 2008), models of change, and roles of faculty beliefs about students and faculty conceptions of teaching (Trigwell & Prosser, 1996).Building from this extant literature, the research team developed a preliminary theory to address the following questions:What causes academic staff to adopt systematic and sustained use of high-impact pedagogies (e.g., evidence-based practices designed intentionally for student learning, with transparent learning goals, meaningful faculty-student interaction, and structured reflection)?How can universities foster faculty change towards systematically using pedagogies that make a meaningful difference in student learning? What is the role of academic developers in this work?For faculty, what are the implications of adopting high-impact pedagogies?The team briefly introduces the theoretical framework and visual representations to demonstrate how the relative impact of component parts (e.g., academic identities, conceptions of students, teaching practices) may change over time and in response to micro, meso, and macro contextual factors. Team members then offer a snapshot of each research project that tests the framework and/or illustrates how it might help scholars examine factors that inform – or inhibit – academic staff change in teaching practices at their universities:The Swedish project charts the intricately woven fabric of change and stability in academic microcultures. Through ethnographically inspired methods, groups of academic teachers are observed as they deal with educational issues in their everyday life-worlds;A US-based project examines the factors that enabled or discouraged changes in conceptions of teaching or learning for humanities faculty in a three-year, multi-institutional course redesign program;A project being conducted at two sites (one in New Zealand and one in the U.S.) that looks at the barriers to and enablers for encouraging more civic engagement initiatives to be embedded within curricula, with one of these taking a students as partners approach to the data collection process;A US project investigates whether academics in a mission-driven university are more likely to change their teaching practices when educational development programming explicitly aligns with the mission, even if their departments are unsupportive or uninterested;A Canadian project explores the extent to which participating in a student-faculty partnership program supported by a central teaching and learning unit encourages change in faculty teaching practices and conceptions of students.The panelists then facilitate a discussion with audience members about a higher education culture that learns, inviting conversation about 1) how other scholars might test the theory in their own institutional contexts; 2) how the theory contributes to work on SoTL’s role in individual and institutional change around teaching, and its limitations; and 3) the research strategies available to investigate academic staff/faculty change. Audience members will leave the session with an introduction to the theoretical framework and five concrete examples that test or illustrate the framework. Additionally, the presenters will provide a brief inventory of the innovative research methods used across the international and multi-institutional sites of the research collaboration. As a result, audience members will have opportunities to reflect on and discuss the framework, its application to their own contexts, and research strategies they could use to conduct similar SoTL projects at their institutions.
StatusPublished - 2018 okt. 26
EvenemangISSOTL18: Toward a learning culture - Grieg Hall, Bergen, Norge
Varaktighet: 2018 okt. 242018 okt. 27



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