A Study of Faculty Teaching Activities at the Undergraduate Level

Open Access
Author:
Gockley, Brian David
Graduate Program:
Higher Education
Degree:
Doctor of Education
Document Type:
Dissertation
Date of Defense:
September 22, 2017
Committee Members:
  • Dorothy Evensen, Dissertation Advisor
  • Dorothy Evensen, Committee Chair
  • John Cheslock, Committee Member
  • Leticia Oseguera, Committee Member
  • Kyle Peck, Outside Member
Keywords:
  • teaching activities
  • adoption rates
  • undergraduate teaching
  • faculty teaching
  • teaching surveys
  • pedagogy
  • teaching methods
  • teaching practices
  • activities
  • adoption
  • teaching
  • faculty
  • methods
  • practices
Abstract:
Faculty at Bucknell, similar to those at most colleges and universities worldwide, have traditionally begun their careers with a limited understanding of the teaching practices available to them and for what purposes those various practices were considered useful. Though many faculty have done their own research into teaching activities and become excellent teachers, the process of individual trial and error was slow, and lacked the support of local or even national data for reference. A more efficient process would be to provide new faculty with an overview of their pedagogical options at the outset of their work, preferably one grounded in data about current teaching norms at their institution; however, after considerable research, such an overview was not found to exist either locally or nationally. This study attempted to correct for this by investigating 36 teaching activities used by faculty teaching primarily undergraduates at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, PA. It used mixed methods to collect descriptive data in order to determine quantitative differences in frequency and durations of usage, and qualitative data regarding the perceived strengths and weaknesses of each activity. Data was reviewed using a variety of methods, including ordinal logistic analysis, cross-tabulation, and textual reduction. Results were made available as an online website called the "How We Teach" Matrix, which displayed overviews of each activity, page frequencies, durations, strengths and weaknesses, and additional resources for further research. This matrix was distributed to Bucknell faculty for their review, and to provide direction for their own pedagogical investigation (https://tinyurl.com/How-We-Teach-Matrix).