Skip to main content

Table 2 Summary of qualitative themes of Faculty Scholar’s motivation to transform their course (at application stage)

From: Institutionalizing evidence-based STEM reform through faculty professional development and support structures

Subcategories Definition
Faculty centered motivations
 Faculty dissatisfaction Faculty is dissatisfied by current state of the course, by their ineffective use of instructional strategies, or by the lack of student learning
 Faculty enthusiasm Faculty shows enthusiasm for implementing active learning and for its promise of improving student outcomes and teaching implementation
 Faculty influenced by positive experience with active learning in the past Faculty has piloted innovative teaching strategies and has had a positive experience (e.g., positive student outcomes, student evaluations, or instructor benefit/ enjoyment)
 Faculty influenced by professional development events Faculty participation in professional development workshop/event informed their decision of seeking innovative teaching strategies
 Faculty influenced by interaction with colleagues Faculty interactions with peers (i.e., faculty colleagues) that have been implementing innovative strategies informed their decision to reform the course
Student centered motivations
 Faculty perception of deficiencies in students Faculty negative perception of students' preparation (e.g., lack of pre-requisite content knowledge and/or skills) informed decision to reform the course and better support students
 Opportunity to develop student skills Course transformation will provide an opportunity to develop key skills (e.g., critical thinking, problem solving and communication skills) that promote student success in major
 Opportunity to increase student learning Course transformation will provide an opportunity to increase student learning and understanding of course materials
 Opportunity to increase student engagement/attitudes towards course/discipline Course transformation will provide an opportunity to increase student engagement and/or positive attitudes (e.g., motivation, value, enjoyment) with the course material
 Opportunity to enhance student satisfaction Course transformation will provide an opportunity to enhance student satisfaction with the course, sometimes by addressing concerns voiced by students
Course centered motivations
 Challenges faced due to the nature of the course content Course difficulty is high due to content nature or amount, or the perceptions students have about the course
 Challenges faced due to the high enrollment in the course Course’s large enrollment makes it difficult to engage students without additional modification and help (e.g., Learning Assistants)
 Low student outcomes in the course Student outcomes are low in this course (e.g., low passing rates that influence STEM major retention)
 Opportunity to improve course structure Course transformation will improve the structure and better support student success (e.g., engagement, skills, etc.)
 Course is important for student’s career or degree success Course is important for students either because the content or skills are required for successfully completing current degree, the content might be included in future career or career related examinations, or the course helps students be more well-rounded individuals
Department centered motivations
 Opportunity to promote change in department Transforming the course will promote and/or sustain change in the department (e.g., develop materials that others can use, set a precedent, benefit an ongoing change such the creation of a major)
 Opportunity to improve department metrics Implementing active learning will help improve departmental/institutional metrics (e.g., graduation, retention, etc.)