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Building Successful Teaching Development Programs for Future Faculty

Lucas Hill,  Ann Austin,  Bipana Bantawa,  Julia Savoy (2018)

There is growing interest in the systemic preparation of future faculty as a means to improve science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) undergraduate education. While numerous teaching professional development programs are offered across the country towards that goal, what is required to develop such programs within complex organizational environments found in higher education institutions remains understudied. The purpose of this study was to identify the crucial factors involved in building successful teaching development opportunities for graduate students and postdoctoral scholars.

This brief explores the research question: What are the key issues and elements to consider in developing and sustaining local teaching professional development programming for the future?

CIRTL Delphi Study: Key Items for Developing and Supporting Local Learning Communities

Julia N. Savoy, Lucas B. Hill, Bipana Bantawa, Ann E. Austin (2018)

Increasingly, universities across the country are forming or joining multi-institutional networks to collectively advance undergraduate STEM reform. However, there is limited research available about how these networks function, what impact they have, and how each member institution organizes their local reform activities. The purpose of this study, as part of a larger project that used the CIRTL Network as a case example, was to identify the key elements necessary in the development of local reform communities in these networks, and to understand how certain network attributes further support those local communities.

This brief explores the research questions: (1) What items are necessary in developing and implementing local CIRTL learning communities, and (2) to what extent does the CIRTL Network possess certain attributes, which may be related to the support of local CIRTL learning communities?

The Variability of High-Engagement Teaching-as-Research Programs

Jessica Schein, Lucas Hill,  Ann Austin,  & Kate Rollert-French (2018)

A substantial body of literature has investigated the crucial importance of evidence-based teaching practices in helping to improve student success and retention in STEM disciplines. This foundational knowledge has prompted the proliferation of teaching professional development programs for future and current faculty, with strong indications that high-engagement opportunities yield better results than less intensive options. Yet, with respect to future faculty development, limited research has examined the key structures and components of high engagement programs. The purpose of this study was to explore the main features and variability of high-engagement programs across universities participating in the CIRTL Network.

This brief explores the research question: What are key features of high-engagement teaching development programs for preparing future STEM faculty as excellent teachers who are prepared to use evidence-based practices?

The Impact of High-Engagement Teaching-as-Research Programs

Jessica Schein, Lucas Hill,  Ann Austin, & Kate Rollert-French  (2018)

Despite national interest in improving STEM education, many undergraduates who embark upon STEM majors never graduate with STEM degrees. Poor teaching is often cited as a prevalent reason as to why students fail to persist. While there is no shortage of “best practices” in undergraduate teaching, widespread adoption of such approaches has not yet occurred. Some research has demonstrated the positive impact of high-engagement teaching development programs for future faculty, though more is needed to understand the potential benefits. The purpose of this study was to examine the high-engagement program experiences of future faculty in local CIRTL programs related to Teaching-as-Research (TAR), which involves the use of research methods to improve one’s teaching.

This brief explores the research question: What is the impact of TAR participation on STEM future faculty member’s (a) knowledge, attitudes, and behaviors in regard to teaching; (b) confidence in their teaching abilities; and (c) career interests and aspirations?

The Key Role of Institutional Representatives in Networks

Lucas Hill (2018)

Rooted in systems thinking and a desire for collective change, multi-institutional and multi-sector networks have become rather ubiquitous in higher education reform initiatives, especially in STEM. Although network membership is often found at the organizational level, key individuals, acting as institutional representatives, span the boundary between the multi-organizational space and their local partnering organization, acting as a conduit for potential network gains.1 However, limited research exists that investigates their connective role in large-scale, collective change efforts in higher education. The purpose of this study was to examine the boundary-spanning and connective roles of institutional representatives in the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL), a network of 38 universities dedicated to improving undergraduate STEM education through preparing future college-level faculty.

This brief explores the research question: How do institutional representatives engage in and make sense of inter- and intra-organizational boundary-spanning roles?

The Impact of the CIRTL Network on Member Campuses

Lucas Hill,  Julia Savoy, Bipana Bantawa & Ann Austin (2018)

Despite the growing prevalence of collaborative, multi-institutional reform in higher education, little empirical research has been conducted to examine the impact of network membership on participating organizations. Prior literature suggests that multi-institutional networks, through key organizational representatives, have the potential to provide knowledge-exchange opportunities, access to resources, sense of community, and expanded social capital. The purpose of this study was to investigate the impacts that result from institutional membership in the Center for the Integration of Research, Teaching, and Learning (CIRTL).

This brief explores the research question: What impact does the CIRTL Network have on member campuses?

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