Skip to main content

Table 3 Categories of faculty-identified drivers for STEM education change

From: Faculty drivers and barriers: laying the groundwork for undergraduate STEM education reform in academic departments

Driver category Description of category Example comments
Expands on current practices Faculty member or other colleague(s) have already adopted EBIPs and/or are engaged in assessment to improve teaching 1) We already think about a lot of this stuff due to accreditation and dept. college culture; 2) Some faculty are already trying new techniques
Encourages collaboration and shared objectives Collaboration and communities of practice is a beneficial outcome of increased emphasis on teaching and student success; development of shared vision 1) Agree on higher academic standards; 2) Some faculty could work together on course development and improvement
Improves teaching and assessment Expectation for gains in individual teaching ability, confidence, and/or efficiency; more consistent curriculum across sections/department; better assessment processes 1) Improvements in instruction across the whole dept.; 2) Consistency in expectations of learning
Aligns with existing resources Resources and materials are readily available to assist in the adoption/implementation of EBIPs: people, CTL, technology 1) Lots of support from the Center for Teaching and Learning and department; 2) Adoption of blackboard/video capture make evidence-based learning more feasible
Provides flexibility and encourages exploration Adoption of new teaching practices fosters creativity; exploration/innovation are encouraged 1) Leaves room for personal innovation & experimentation; 2) Can explore effectiveness and compatibility w/best practices, with your teaching style & personality
Improves student and department outcomes Realization of vision will result in improved outcomes for students and/or the department (e.g., student retention, decreased failure rates, fewer repeating students) 1) Will help improve student retention/graduation rates; 2) Successful results (That students performance or satisfaction improves)
Promotes student engagement and faculty-student interactions There will be improved relationships/rapport with students; students enjoy active learning environments and will be more engaged 1) As teaching improves, relationships with students probably also improve; 2) With students: increase dialogue in classroom
Aligns with faculty desire for student success Instructors are willing to try new things and have a shared desire for student success; aligned with current efforts for teaching effectiveness and improved student learning 1) Intrinsic motivation to prepare future citizens; 2) We/I'm motivated to push for better learning/retention
Develops stronger students/graduates The use of active learning pedagogies will aid students in the development of skills necessary for future course work and employment 1) Relevance for students (skills needed outside Higher education); 2) Success of higher education in preparing thinkers and leaders
Institutional/departmental support Vision is valued and supported by the department and/or institution; teaching will be valued in tenure and promotion process 1) Support from management Chair/Dean in testing new ideas; 2) Teaching quality is considered in T & P decisions
Encourages professional development The proposed initiative is an opportunity to engage in professional development related to teaching and learning 1) Emphasis on training in teaching for faculty & grad students; 2) Faculty are supported to attend workshops even outside the university
Enhances teaching satisfaction Faculty will experience greater satisfaction in their teaching roles 1) Enthusiasm - more energy in department; 2) More fun/fulfilling for faculty members
Improved individual and institutional reputation Better teaching and improved student success will elicit greater recognition for the institution or individuals 1) Improving teaching improves recruitment and department reputation among students in particular; 2) Potentially provides better overall regional and national recognition
Builds common tools and resources The creation/availability of common tools and resources is a valuable outcome of the proposed initiative 1) Successful strategies will be available to all; 2) Provides a “toolbox” for achieving learning
Increased research opportunities The vision will expand research and/or is a means to connect teaching with research 1) I will explore additional topics that would help my research; 2) Could lead to collaboration on grants