Lecturers' self-perception of change in their teaching approaches: Reflections on a qualitative study

Donnelly, R. (2008) Lecturers' self-perception of change in their teaching approaches: Reflections on a qualitative study. pp. 207-222. ISSN 00131881 (ISSN)

[img] Text
Donnelly 2008.pdf

Download (609kB)
Official URL: http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?eid=2-s2.0...

Abstract

Background: Within the realm of teaching in higher education (HE), in this new millennium, there is currently no professional training requirement for teachers in Ireland; as a result, the majority of teachers in Irish higher education do not have any teaching qualifications, and essentially are required to learn on the job, oftentimes relying on how they were taught themselves. However, there is growing recognition within the sector for the need for training for lecturers and other academic staff who have a teaching component to their work. Purpose: The principal aim of this study is to explore the self-perception of change in teaching approaches by lecturers who have graduated from a Postgraduate Certificate in Third-level Learning and Teaching Programme. Programme description: This is an evaluation study investigating the experiences of the graduates of the programme over a period extending from its inception in 2000 until 2003. The programme runs in an academic year, and has two modules: learning and teaching in higher education, and designing curricula and assessment strategies. Sample: The study involved 45 successful graduates of the programme, who were teachers in a variety of higher education institutions around Ireland. These programme participants had a variety of experiences in HE teaching ranging from 1 year to 25 years, and hailed from a diverse mix of subject disciplines, encompassing apprentice, undergraduate and postgraduate education. Design and methods: A qualitative questionnaire was distributed to the 45 participants to establish the difference that the programme has made on these lecturers' professional practice. The initial qualitative study was conducted in 2005, with a second stage completed in 2007. Results: For this study, 25 lecturers returned completed questionnaires; all indicated that change had been made in their teaching approaches, and a number of alterations had taken place. Some of these claims lacked evidence and others provided evidence to support it. The most significant changes identified were increased reflection on current teaching approaches, the introduction of new teaching strategies, increased focus on the design and delivery of classes, more work taking place on course teams, an increase in confidence about learning and teaching and a more student-centred approach towards teaching. Conclusions: The changes in teaching approaches for these individuals has been multidimensional and includes the design of new instructional strategies, the use of new teaching approaches and the alteration of beliefs (pedagogical assumptions and learning theories) about learning and teaching in higher education. These findings are significant for the programme team and future participants, in that they can be used to support this model and the teaching strategies and format of the programme as it presently stands. In a wider frame, they are important to allow academic staff to realise opportunities to join forces with others in their departments, and show them that they are part of a larger movement to develop a learning society through their work with students.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Cited By :9; Export Date: 23 February 2015; Correspondence Address: Donnelly, R.; Learning and Teaching Centre, Dublin Institute of TechnologyIreland; email: Roisin.Donnelly@dit.ie; References: Abbott, R.D., D.H. Wulff, and C.K. Szego. 1989. Review of research on TA training. In New directions for teaching and learning: Teaching assistant training in the 1990s, ed. J.D. Nyquist, R.D. Abbott, and D.H. Wulff, 111-24. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-BassAdamson, L., and R. Duhs. 2004. Spreading good practice or struggling against resistance to change -how are we doing? Issues from a Swedish case. Paper presented at 9th Annual SEDA Conference for Staff and Educational Developers 'Questioning the Impact of Staff and Educational Development', November 16-17, in the Novotel Birmingham Centre(1992) Managing change in education: Individual and organisational perspectives, , Bennett, N, M. Crawford. C. Riches, eds, Milton Keynes: Open University Press; Britton, A. 2004. Is it really worth doing? The impact of an initial training course in university teaching. Paper presented at 9th Annual SEDA Conference for Staff and Educational Developers 'Questioning the Impact of Staff and Educational Development', November 16-17, in the Novotel Birmingham CentreBroadbent, C., (1998) Transforming, , http://www.aare.edu.au/98pap/bro98142.htm, the university: Tensions and opportunities for academics, accessed March 14, 2007; Carroll, J.G., Effects of training programs for university teaching assistants: A review of empirical research (1980) Journal of Higher Education, 51 (2), pp. 167-183; Charmaz, C. 1995. Grounded theory. In Rethinking methods in psychology, ed. J.A. Smith, R. Harré, and L.Van. Langenhove, 27-49. London: Sage(1998) University teaching and learning: Policy and practice, , Colloquium, Dublin: Royal Hospital Kilmainham; Dalin, P., Rolff, R., Kottkamp, H., (1993) Changing the school culture, , London: Cassell; Fullan, M., (1993) Change forces. Probing the depths of educational reform, , London: Falmer Press; Fullan, M., (1999) Change forces. The sequel, , London: Falmer Press; Fullan, M., (2001) The new meaning of educational change, , London: Routledge Falmer; Geertz, C., (1973) The interpretation of cultures, , New York: Basic Books; Gibbs, G., Coffey, M., The impact of training university teachers on their teaching skills, their approach to teaching and the approach to learning of their students (2004) Active Learning in Higher Education, 5 (1), pp. 87-100; Gibbs, G., R. Land, and L. I. McAlpine. 2004. Questioning the impact of staff and educational development - starting a debate. Opening Plenary, 9th Annual SEDA Conference for Staff and Educational Developers 'Questioning the Impact of Staff and Educational Development', November 16-17, in the Novotel Birmingham CentreGuba, E., Lincoln, Y., (1989) Fourth generation evaluation, , London: Sage; Ho, A., Watkins, D., Kelly, M., The conceptual change approach to improving teaching and learning: An evaluation of a Hong Kong staff development programme (2001) Higher Education, 42, pp. 143-169; Hollway, W., Jefferson, T., (2000) Doing qualitative research differently: Free association, narrative and the interview method, , London: Sage; House, E.R., Methodology and justice (1990) Evaluation and social justice, , ed. K.A. Sirotnik. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass; King, H., Continuing professional development in higher education: What do academics do? (2004) Planet, 13. , http://www.gees.ac.uk/planet/p13/p13_8.pdf, accessed April 18, 2007; Kitzinger, J., Qualitative research. Introducing focus groups (1996) British Medical Journal, 311, pp. 229-302; Kreuger, R.A., (1994) Focus groups. A practical guide for applied research, , Newbury Park, CA: Sage; Land, R., Review of research on TA training: Agency, context and change in academic development (2001) International Journal for Academic Development, 6 (1), pp. 4-20; McDowell, L., A different kind of R&D? Considering educational research and educational development (1996) Improving student learning: Using research to improve student learning, pp. 34-45. , ed. G. Gibbs, Oxford: Oxford Centre for Staff Development; Morgan, D.L., (1997) Focus groups as qualitative research, , Newbury Park, CA: Sage; Newton, J., Views from below: Academics coping with quality (2001) Keynote presentation, 6th QHE Seminar, EAIR and SHRE, , May 25-26, in Birmingham, UK; Palmer, P., (1998) The courage to teach: Exploring the inner landscape of a teacher's life, , San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass; Roche, V., Professional development models and transformative change: A case study of indicators of effective practice in higher education (2001) International Journal for Academic Development, 6 (2), pp. 120-129; Rowland, S., Surface learning about teaching in higher education: The need for more critical conversations (2001) International Journal for Academic Development, 6 (2), pp. 162-167; Rust, C., Do initial training courses have an impact on university teaching? The evidence from two evaluative studies of one course (2000) Innovations in Education and Training International, 37 (3), pp. 254-262; Skilbeck, M., (2001) The university challenged: A review of international trends and issues with particular reference to Ireland, , Dublin: Higher Education Authority; Skilbeck, M., (2003) The university challenged. A review of international trends and issues with particular reference to Ireland, , Dublin: Higher Education Authority; Stefani, L., Matthew, R., The difficulties of defining development: A case study (2002) International Journal of Academic Development, 7, pp. 41-50; Stewart, D., Shamdasani, P., Rook, D., (2007) Focus groups: Theory and practice, , London: Sage; Thew, N., and S. Clayton. 2004. More bang for our buck? Using an impact assessment tool to enhance teacher training programmes. Paper presented at 9th Annual SEDA Conferencefor Staff and Educational Developers 'Questioning the Impact of Staff and Educational Development', November 16-17, in the Novotel Birmingham CentreTrowler, P., (1998) Academics responding to change: New higher education frameworks and academic cultures, , Buckingham: Open University Press/SRHE; Weimer, M., Lenze, L.F., Instructional interventions: A review of the literature on efforts to improve instruction (1997) Effective teaching in higher education: Research and practice, pp. 205-240. , ed. R.P. Perry, and J.C. Smart, New York: Agathon Press
Uncontrolled Keywords: Academic professional development; Educational change; Learning and teaching; Programme evaluation; Teaching portfolio
Depositing User: National Forum
Date Deposited: 05 Dec 2015 08:41
Last Modified: 05 Dec 2015 08:46
URI: http://eprints.teachingandlearning.ie/id/eprint/3911

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item

Downloads

Downloads per month over past year