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This study looks at how different types of professional development can have an impact on faculty instruction, and their understanding of the subject. Using four different types of professional development programs, this study will measure the effectiveness of these programs in real time and from the same institution.


This RAPID project will explore how different professional development programs impact faculty instruction. While studies of one program are useful, they do not result in a deeper understanding of faculty instructors' learning that can be achieved through comparative studies of multiple approaches. The proposed study is better situated to discover factors that influence faculty learning and teaching behavior by examining faculty learning in four different professional development programs that have been enacted at the University of Georgia beginning in the spring of 2016. It will study these (and a control group) and measure their impact from differences in outcomes as faculty instructors implement what they are learning in real time and in the fall. These four methods are representative of the approaches being implemented nationally across a large number of universities. This project has the advantage of studying all four at the same time at the same institution.

This will be a mixed methods study, which will have quantitative and qualitative components that are mixed in the analysis. Qualitative data will be collected in the spring, and will consist of interviews, observations, and artifacts that pertain to instruction. Quantitative and qualitative data will be collected in the fall. Quantitative data will examine the teaching of faculty who participated in the different programs and a group that did not participate in such a program. Qualitative data will consist of interviews about the implementation (or not) of active learning approaches.


National Science Foundation

Principal Investigator

Julie A. Luft

Athletic Association Professor of Science Education & Distinguished Research Professor, Mathematics and Science Education


Marguerite Brickman Paula Lemons

Active Since

June 2016