Faculty development framework for the active teacher/learner at the Community College of Rhode Island

Christine Manville, Johnson & Wales University

Abstract

Active learning approaches to college teaching are recommended in the literature, however seldom are they practiced in college classrooms (Angelo, 2003; Bonwell & Eison, 1991). Research has demonstrated that changes in teaching methods are associated with opportunities for professional development (Boud & Brew, 1996; Weimer, 2002), and studies have suggested that new frameworks for faculty development programs are needed in community colleges (Murray, 1995; 1999; 2000). ^ This study determined a framework for effective faculty development to promote active teaching/learning at the Community College of Rhode Island (CCRI). Four related areas were explored: the definition of the role of the active teacher/learner; the understanding and use of active learning by full-time faculty in select academic departments; the knowledge, skills, and abilities required to be successful in this role; and the professional needs and interest of faculty transitioning into this role. ^ The mixed method applied research study used two data collection methods: a questionnaire administered to an intensity sample of faculty (N = 219) and semi-structured interviews conducted with key CCRI educational leaders (N = 17). Statistical analysis was conducted with questionnaire data from the 94 respondents (43% return rate); interview data were analyzed for themes and patterns. The findings confirmed information found in the literature: lecture is the primary teaching method; the majority of class time is dedicated to lecture; traditional tools, examination and quizzes, are the primary methods used to assess student learning; the majority of faculty and educational leaders cannot provide an accurate definition for active learning; and the majority of faculty perceive themselves to be effective teachers. Three themes emerged relative to faculty development: (1) the importance of college culture and communication, (2) an inhibition toward change embedded in the social system and professional advancement, and (3) the issue of responsibility for learning. ^ The findings were used to design a conceptual framework for faculty development to support ongoing active teaching/learning at the Community College of Rhode Island. This framework provides the basis for college leaders to design and to implement suitable professional development activities. ^

Subject Area

Education, Community College|Education, Teacher Training|Education, Curriculum and Instruction

Recommended Citation

Christine Manville, "Faculty development framework for the active teacher/learner at the Community College of Rhode Island" (January 1, 2004). Dissertation & Theses Collection. Paper AAI3136029.
http://scholarsarchive.jwu.edu/dissertations/AAI3136029

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