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A Model for an Intensive Hands-On Faculty Development Workshop To Foster Change in Laboratory Teaching

    Authors: Christopher W. Beck1,‡,*, Lawrence S. Blumer2,‡
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    Affiliations: 1: Department of Biology, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322; 2: Department of Biology, Morehouse College, Atlanta, GA 30314
    AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION AUTHOR AND ARTICLE INFORMATION
    • Received 28 March 2019 Accepted 29 April 2019 Published 31 October 2019
    • ©2019 Author(s). Published by the American Society for Microbiology
    • [open-access] This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International license (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/ and https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/legalcode), which grants the public the nonexclusive right to copy, distribute, or display the published work.

    • Supplemental materials available at http://asmscience.org/jmbe
    • *Corresponding author. Mailing address: Department of Biology, Emory University, 1510 Clifton Road, Atlanta, GA 30322. Phone: 404-712-9012. E-mail: [email protected].
    • The authors contributed equally to the design and conduct of this study and the writing of the manuscript.
    Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. October 2019 vol. 20 no. 3 doi:10.1128/jmbe.v20i3.1799
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    Abstract:

    Faculty development workshops are frequently used to bring about change in faculty teaching. Yet, the characteristics of successful faculty professional development in the context of laboratory teaching are unclear. In this Perspective, we describe our approach to intensive hands-on faculty development workshops for fostering change in laboratory teaching and present evidence for the effectiveness of the approach. The outcomes from our workshops and feedback from past participants support the following recommendations: 1) faculty should attend workshops in teams from their institutions, 2) workshops should allow participants to develop curricula that can be implemented with relatively little additional work after the workshop, 3) workshops should allow faculty time to “work” on tangible products and should involve hands-on activities, 4) workshops should be of sufficient duration to allow for faculty to develop expertise and tangible products but short enough that faculty do not “burn out,” and 5) a structure for ongoing and systematic follow-up with participants is essential.

References & Citations

1. American Association for the Advancement of Science 2011 Vision and change in undergraduate biology education: a call to action: a summary of recommendations made at a national conference organized by the American Association for the Advancement of Science July 15–17, 2009 Washington, DC
2. Boyer Commission on Educating Undergraduates in the Research University 1998 Reinventing undergraduate education: a blueprint for America’s research universities Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching Princeton, NJ
3. National Research Council (NRC) 2003 BIO 2010 Transforming undergraduate education for future research biologists The National Academies Press Washington, DC
4. President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) 2012 Engage to excel: producing one million additional college graduates with degrees in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics Executive Office of the President Washington, DC
5. Project Kaleidoscope (PKAL) 2002 Recommendations for action in support of undergraduate science, technology, engineering, and mathematics: report on reports PKAL Washington, DC
6. National Research Council (NRC) 2012 Discipline-based education research: understanding and improving learning in undergraduate science and engineering The National Academies Press Washington, DC
7. Spell RM, Guinan JA, Miller KR, Beck CW 2014 Redefining authentic research experiences in introductory biology laboratories and barriers to their implementation CBE Life Sci Educ 13 102 110 10.1187/cbe.13-08-0169 24591509 3940451 http://dx.doi.org/10.1187/cbe.13-08-0169
8. D’Avanzo C 2013 Post-vision and change: do we know how to change? CBE Life Sci Educ 12 373 382 10.1187/cbe.13-01-0010 http://dx.doi.org/10.1187/cbe.13-01-0010
9. Khatri R, Henderson C, Cole R, Froyd JE, Friedrichsen D, Stanford C 2016 Designing for sustained adoption: a model of developing educational innovations for successful propagation Physical Rev Phys Educ Res 12 010112 10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.12.010112 http://dx.doi.org/10.1103/PhysRevPhysEducRes.12.010112
10. Manduca CA 2017 Surveying the landscape of professional development research: suggestions for new perspectives in design and research J Geosci Educ 65 416 422 10.5408/17-281.1 http://dx.doi.org/10.5408/17-281.1
11. Flora JRV, Cooper AT 2005 Incorporating inquiry-based laboratory experiment in undergraduate environmental engineering laboratory Profess Iss Eng Educ Pract 131 19 25 10.1061/(ASCE)1052-3928(2005)131:1(19) http://dx.doi.org/10.1061/(ASCE)1052-3928(2005)131:1(19)
12. Weaver GC, Russell CB, Wink DJ 2008 Inquiry-based and research-based laboratory pedagogies in undergraduate science Nat Chem Biol 4 577 580 10.1038/nchembio1008-577 18800041 http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nchembio1008-577
13. D’Avanzo C 1996 Three ways to teach ecology lab by inquiry: guided, open-ended, and teacher-collaborative Bull Ecol Soc Amer 77 92 93
14. Blumer LS, Beck CW 2019 Laboratory courses with guided-inquiry modules improve scientific reasoning and experimental design skills for the least prepared undergraduate students CBE Life Sci Educ 18 ar2 10.1187/cbe.18-08-0152 http://dx.doi.org/10.1187/cbe.18-08-0152
15. Henderson C, Beach A, Finkelstein N 2011 Facilitating change in undergraduate STEM instructional practices: an analytic review of the literature J Res Sci Teach 48 952 984 10.1002/tea.20439 http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/tea.20439
16. Beck CW, Blumer LS 2007 Bean beetles, Callosobruchus maculatus, a model system for inquiry-based undergraduate laboratories 274 283 O’Donnell MA Proceedings of the 28th Workshop/Conference of the Association for Biology Laboratory Education (ABLE) 28 ABLE West Lafayette, IN
17. Cho JY, Lee E 2014 Reducing confusion about grounded theory and qualitative content analysis: similarities and differences Qual Rep 19 1 20
18. Beck CW, Blumer LS 2016 Alternative realities: faculty and student perceptions of instructional practices in laboratory courses CBE Life Sci Educ 15 ar52 10.1187/cbe.16-03-0139 27810867 5132349 http://dx.doi.org/10.1187/cbe.16-03-0139
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21. Mulnix A 2012 Using learning principle in faculty development workshops CBE Life Sci Educ 11 335 336 10.1187/cbe.12-07-0107 23222826 3516786 http://dx.doi.org/10.1187/cbe.12-07-0107

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2019-10-31
2019-12-12

Abstract:

Faculty development workshops are frequently used to bring about change in faculty teaching. Yet, the characteristics of successful faculty professional development in the context of laboratory teaching are unclear. In this Perspective, we describe our approach to intensive hands-on faculty development workshops for fostering change in laboratory teaching and present evidence for the effectiveness of the approach. The outcomes from our workshops and feedback from past participants support the following recommendations: 1) faculty should attend workshops in teams from their institutions, 2) workshops should allow participants to develop curricula that can be implemented with relatively little additional work after the workshop, 3) workshops should allow faculty time to “work” on tangible products and should involve hands-on activities, 4) workshops should be of sufficient duration to allow for faculty to develop expertise and tangible products but short enough that faculty do not “burn out,” and 5) a structure for ongoing and systematic follow-up with participants is essential.

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Figures

Image of FIGURE 1

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FIGURE 1

Participant perceptions of the impact of our workshops on their teaching based on a retrospective survey. Participants who responded to the survey (=55) were from the range of institution types represented at our workshops (two-year colleges: 18%, liberal arts colleges: 38%, comprehensive and research universities: 22%, minority-serving institutions: 22%) with representation similar to participants in our workshops.

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. October 2019 vol. 20 no. 3 doi:10.1128/jmbe.v20i3.1799
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FIGURE 2

Faculty instructional practices prior to and following workshop participation and implementation of a new guided-inquiry laboratory activity. Instructional practices were determined using the survey and constructs in Beck and Blumer ( 18 ). Faculty (=38) increased their emphasis on science process skills and scientific synthesis in their laboratory courses after the workshop (Wilcoxon signed rank tests: =2.42, =0.016; =2.29, =0.022, respectively). They also decreased their instructor-directed teaching to a marginally significant degree (Wilcoxon signed rank tests: =1.75, =0.08).

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. October 2019 vol. 20 no. 3 doi:10.1128/jmbe.v20i3.1799
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Image of FIGURE 3

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FIGURE 3

Implementation rates by institution type (A) and workshop year (B). Implementation rates varied by institution type (A) among HBCUs and MSIs, universities, community colleges, and liberal arts colleges (using non-overlapping categories in which “university” and “liberal-arts college” were neither “minority-serving” nor “community colleges”) with sample sizes (number of teams) shown above each bar. The teams from all the different institution types were represented in each of the four workshop years. The implementation rates by workshop year (B) were similar, with the exception of the workshop participants in 2010 (sample sizes, which are the number of teams, are given above each bar). HBCU = historically-black college or university; MSI = minority-serving institution.

Source: J. Microbiol. Biol. Educ. October 2019 vol. 20 no. 3 doi:10.1128/jmbe.v20i3.1799
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