Professional Development Program Design and Potential for Higher Education Transformation at Three Types of Institutions of Higher Education
Monday 2:15pm E Building 202
Oral Presentation Part of Monday Oral Session A
Holly Fortener, University of Colorado at Boulder
Leilani Arthurs, University of Colorado at Boulder
Teaching-focused professional development (PD) programs are experiences such as workshops designed to educate higher education instructors on topics related to teaching and learning. PD programs are common forms of pedagogy training that are typically offered through professional societies and organizations, on-campus offices, and other entities. Despite the plethora of PD programs available to faculty, there remain gaps in our collective knowledge about how these programs are structured, how they are administered, what impacts they have on teaching practices, and what impacts they have on student learning. The purpose of this multiple-case study is to fill these gaps in the literature by determining the similarities and differences that exist among teaching-focused PD programs in terms structure and implementation, and the capacity for PD programs to facilitate education transformation in teaching practices and student learning outcomes. To achieve these goals, the study focused on three cases of US public institutions of higher education: a community college, an emerging-research institution, and a research-intensive institution. Project leads and graduate students created a database of PD programs offered at each institution between 2014 and 2019 to record key characteristics. Each program was examined through the lens of two models of effective teaching-focused PD. Borko's model describes the interplay between the PD program, its facilitators, and its teacher participants (Borko et al., 2007). Futrell's model describes factors that influence the relationship between PD and education transformation (Futrell et al., 1995). The results indicate that teaching-focused PD programs are more likely to contribute to higher education transformation in institutions that value teaching, such as community colleges and emerging-research institutions, compared to research-intensive institutions that tend to value research over teaching. Recommendations are offered for how each type of institution can develop their PD programs to better meet the needs of instructors and more effectively facilitate education transformation.