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Choosing the right tool for the job: The role of traveling workshops in engaging math faculty in active teaching strategies
Between 2016 and 2020, the PRODUCT project hosted four-day, intensive professional development workshops for undergraduate mathematics instructors interested in incorporating inquiry-based learning (IBL) into their classrooms. In addition to these intensive workshops, the project also offered shorter traveling workshops between 2017 and 2020. These workshops were hosted at institutions across the United States and were typically a few hours in length.
The PRODUCT evaluation team distributed post-workshop surveys and a follow-up survey to traveling workshop attendees, through which we were able to measure self-reported changes in knowledge, skill, and implementation of IBL. Similar measures were collected for the intensive summer workshops, providing a basis to compare the impacts of each workshop model on participants. Our findings indicate that the two workshop models provide benefits to participants, and each serve a distinctive role in increasing awareness and uptake of IBL. Despite being shorter and less in-depth than the intensive workshops, the traveling workshop data show that participants reported gains in their knowledge and interest in IBL after attending a workshop. Preliminary analysis of follow-up data is underway, and we will also compare implementation rates between workshop types when the analysis is complete.
An additional benefit of the traveling workshops is their accessibility: because the workshops were hosted at local institutions, the travel and time costs of attendance were low. This accessibility combined with intentional efforts to reach a more diverse range of faculty led to a diversity of institution type, career stage, and ethnicity among traveling workshop participants. Overall, our findings show that the traveling workshops were effective at encouraging interest and increasing knowledge of IBL among a diverse range of faculty and suggest that there are specific benefits to be offered from a short, localized workshop model when other forms of implementation support are available.
For additional details about the traveling workshops, see the Summative Evaluation Report.
Traveling Workshops Poster (Acrobat (PDF) 1MB Jun8 21)
Choosing the right tool for the job: The role of traveling workshops in engaging math faculty in active teaching strategies -- Discussion
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Just saw this! An intensive workshop could come to participants, but it's often hard to gather a critical mass at one site. In this project, those who were ready for a bigger dose traveled to summer intensive workshops. We are newly funded to work with the Mathematical Association of America to offer intensive online workshops, where nobody will have to travel.
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