After the workshop : a study of engineering instructors’ post-workshop implementation of active learning in the classroom
Existing engineering education research has empirically validated the effectiveness of active learning over traditional instructional methods. Faculty development workshops have been initiated to promote adoption of active learning to engineering classrooms. Although researchers have examined the effectiveness of engineering faculty development workshops, most of the research has relied on faculty self-report. Self-report often limits the examination of various features that influence teaching such as faculty conceptions, student response to instruction and faculty development experiences. In this study, using classroom observations, instructor interview, student focus groups and surveys, I examined two engineering instructors’ post-workshop implementation of active learning in the classroom. The findings demonstrate the influence of faculty conceptions of teaching in selection and design of activities and subsequent impact of these design choices on student engagement. I report the instructors’ and students’ responses to the active learning exercises and present recommendations for engineering faculty development.