Make your classroom your laboratory! Participate in a R.I.S.E. Research Study.
As student populations continue to diversify (American Council on Education, 2019; U.S. Department of Education, 2019), programs that support faculty in effective teaching across differences grow in importance. At Lindenwood, 15% of students are Black/African American, 4% are Hispanic/Latinx, 22% are international, and 34% of undergraduates are eligible for Pell Grants. Equity gaps exist for some student groups. Black undergraduates show 6% lower retention rates than white undergraduates and 15% lower 6-year graduation rates. They graduate in four years at about half the rate that international students do. Similar gaps exist for retention and graduation rates of Pell-eligible students.
Gawronski, Kuk, and Lombardi (2016) note, “The more faculty members are able to expand their repertoire of research-based instructional strategies that meet a wide variety of student needs, the greater impact they could have on student achievement” (p. 332). The R.I.S.E. Project aims to address these needs, and the Learning Academy seeks to assess and demonstrate its impact through research.
For our R.I.S.E. research studies, we aim to connect the dots between faculty development and student learning, test the utility of the R.I.S.E. framework, and validate particular pedagogical strategies.
We will need faculty members to be involved both as research participants and as co-creators of knowledge to help us discover if and how changes to pedagogy impact student learning and student experiences. We envision this research project as a collaborative basis for exploring grant funding, scholarly presentation, and publication in this area.
Our first study will be conducted throughout the 2021-2022 academic year as the campus-wide faculty development occurs. Faculty who agree to participate must commit to implementing small teaching changes (Lang, 2016) that they learn about through roundtables, peer coaching, and/or online resources. Additionally, they will help to provide self-report data, teaching and learning artifacts, and student perception data. The study will begin in Fall 2021 and extend at least through Spring 2022, but potentially beyond that.
Data collection and analysis methods could include
- Interviews with faculty participants
- Surveys administered to faculty participants
- Observations of participants’ teaching
- Analysis of pre- and post- versions of assignments or other course elements
- Analysis of samples of student work
- Analysis of student feedback collected via student course evaluations
- Collection of additional student feedback (e.g., additional survey, focus groups)
Any data collection involving students would be conducted with the full knowledge and assistance of the instructor. Feedback collected from students would be used for the purposes of the research study only and kept confidential, unless the faculty member elects to use that information for other purposes.
While faculty choose to discuss their implementation of new teaching strategies and any outcomes as part of their self-evaluation, participation in the R.I.S.E. research study will not have any other bearing on standard faculty evaluation and/or employee standing with Lindenwood.
Interested in learning more or participating? Check out this Faculty Guide to R.I.S.E. Research (and use this to help you co-design your participation) and email firstname.lastname@example.org or Shenika Harris.