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A comparison of outcomes of intensive in-person and online instruction-focused professional development for undergraduate math instructors
Research based instructional strategies (RBIS) have been shown to be positively related to student learning. However, most STEM instructors do not have the knowledge and skill necessary to implement RBIS effectively in their teaching. Our group has previously shown instruction-focused professional development (PD) to be effective in increasing instructors' use of RBIS in STEM. These in-person four-day intensive inquiry-based learning (IBL) workshops for mathematics faculty are well established; the core workshop model has been used for a decade and aligns with best practices of effective PD. Workshops feature discussion of education research, video examples of IBL teaching practices, time to develop course materials, and follow-up support to aid participants' implementation of IBL. Grounded in Ajzen's (1991) Theory of Planned Behavior, prior findings from in-person workshops showed that workshop participants' IBL knowledge and skills, and their attitudes about the effectiveness of IBL, were positively related to post-workshop implementation of IBL methods. However, access to these workshops requires significant time and monetary resources, making in-person workshops less accessible to potential participants with personal (e.g. family responsibilities, health) and institutional (e.g. lack of money to attend) constraints. In response, workshop organizers created an online workshop model largely based on the proven in-person intensive model. Pre- and post-workshop survey data showed that gains in beliefs about the effectiveness of IBL, IBL knowledge, and IBL skill by online workshop participants were comparable to those reported by previous in-person workshop participants. These findings suggest that, at least in the short term, the online intensive workshop model can produce similar outcomes to in-person workshops, thus providing an alternative model of PD that offers greater access to instructors who may not otherwise be able to attend. We plan to conduct a follow-up survey of online workshop participants to compare implementation rates between online and in-person workshop participants.
A comparison of outcomes of intensive in-person and online instruction-focused professional development for undergraduate math instructors (PowerPoint 2007 (.pptx) 7.8MB Jun8 21)