Initial Publication Date: June 14, 2010

Pathway Study

In-Depth Analysis

In order to trace elements of faculty development programming into faculty teaching and student learning, we recruited five individual faculty members to collaborate with us on an in-depth analysis of their work and their students' work, with the following process:

  1. Interview the faculty about their teaching practices, their course syllabi, and specific assignments they changed/created after a faculty development experience or in response to the new college curriculum;
  2. Observe the faculty member discussing the assignment and relevant content in order to contextualize students' writing in response to the assignment (if possible);
  3. Analyze pre- and post-versions of their assignment for changes (if possible);
  4. Review a small sample of student work from their assignment, using both pre- and post-versions of the student work (selected from portfolios and faculty collections, if possible). Analyze students' depth of thinking and learning by applying our developing rubric.
  5. Interview the faculty members again about our findings to see how they match up with faculty's own views of their students' work and their teaching.

Large Scale Analysis

We are currently analyzing the results of our second Haswell pair-paper and assignment rating session (December and August 2011). We developed a rubric based on WAC and QuIRK (and other initiative) faculty development teachings to evaluate the amounts of these teachings in faculty assignment prompts and student papers from different time periods and across the curriculum.

We also collaborated with Washington State University in applying their critical thinking (CT) rubric to analyzing larger samples of faculty assignment prompts and student writing at both institutions. In past research with their CT rubric, WSU found that students scored higher in critical thinking when their faculty instructors included portions of the rubric in their courses. Likewise, we are curious to see if there are any differences in students' critical thinking scores in areas that are emphasized by Carleton's Writing Across the Curriculum (WAC) and Quantitative Inquiry, Reasoning, and Knowledge (QuIRK) initiatives. WAC and QuIRK learning goals seem to align well with the CT rubric elements, "Problem, Question, or Issue," "Supporting Data/Evidence," and "Communicates Effectively."

You can learn more about WSU's CT rubric, faculty development programming, and assessment on their project website.