Teaching-Focused Faculty as Potential Facilitators of Institutional Change

In response to nationwide concerns regarding the quality of STEM education, discipline-based education research fields have identified interventions to improve student outcomes, including active learning lectures and social-psychological interventions. However, implementation of these practices has yet to occur on a larger scale. One potential mechanism to generate institutional change in regard to teaching practices is the use of change agents within a department who possess both discipline-specific and teaching expertise. The University of California is home to a unique faculty line that fits this description, the Lecturer with Security of Employment (or Teaching Professor). In this project, we aim to identity the impact of Teaching Professors on (1) student outcomes – both in terms of course grade as well as grade in the next course in a series (relative to traditional research faculty and non-tenure lecturers), (2) departmental conversations on teaching, and (3) teaching practices of departmental colleagues. This mixed-methods study is supported by two NSF grants:

NSF IUSE #1612258: Assessing the Impact of Teaching Faculty in STEM Institutional Transformation ($300k, 2016-2019) PI: Michael Dennin

NSF IUSE #1821724: Examining The Roles of STEM Teaching Faculty in Advancing the Use of Evidence-based Teaching Practices at Research Universities ($2.2 million, 2018-2023) PI: Brian Sato