Exploring the Experiences and Needs of Faculty When Implementing Active Learning at a Public Southeastern Regional University: A Mixed-Methods Approach
Date of Award
Open Access Dissertation
The purpose of this action research was to identify participant experiences and needs of faculty when teaching in the active learning classrooms at a public regional southeastern university. This study aimed to determine what were the experiences of faculty members who have taught in the active learning classrooms, what were the experiences of students who have taken a course in the active learning classrooms, and what are the faculty development, classroom technology, and technical support needs of faculty members who have taught in such classrooms. With the five-year Federal grant cycle ending in 2019, the university needs to create a formal process to train faculty members in teaching active learning strategies and preparing them to utilize the active learning classrooms built. Such activities and research being done at this institution is consistent with other institutions reporting on how active learning classrooms were constructed and how they created faculty development programs for appropriate active learning instruction in active learning classrooms.
To answer the research questions, explanatory sequential mixed methods were executed that included sending a quantitative survey and conducting qualitative focus groups with participants chosen through purposive sampling. The results of this study indicated overall agreement in the active learning strategies being implemented, the technology experiences within the active learning classrooms, and overall experiences. For strategies implemented, faculty and students both agreed that more collaborative activities were being implemented while faculty struggled to implement independentbased active learning activities and traditional assessment strategies. While participants felt there was adequate technology support, faculty felt that more troubleshooting training was needed and students felt more hands-on exposure is needed prior to starting classroom activities. Overall, faculty overwhelming disagreed that the active learning classroom experience was a waste of time while students were mixed on their active learning classroom experience.
Recommendations given to academic affairs administrators include providing prefaculty development observation activities to allow perspective participants to see the benefits and challenges of teaching in active learning classrooms, address the individual assessment issues related to academic integrity, and training faculty members on how to implement active learning strategies when in traditional or online course environments. Recommendations given to information technology administrators include utilizing the technology usefulness results as a way to better allocate technology funds, initiate conversations with academic affairs administrators to standardize active learning classrooms that provide basic rudimentary furniture and technology features, and assist in orientating students to the new active learning classrooms by creating technology tutorials.
Lampe, M.(2020). Exploring the Experiences and Needs of Faculty When Implementing Active Learning at a Public Southeastern Regional University: A Mixed-Methods Approach. (Doctoral dissertation). Retrieved from https://scholarcommons.sc.edu/etd/5875