Assessment of Online Professional Development on Faculty Teaching Virtually

Citation of Original Publication
Gurganus, Jamie R. et al.; Assessment of Online Professional Development on Faculty Teaching Virtually; 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, 26 July, 2021;
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© 2021 American Society for Engineering Education.
This evidence-based practice paper discusses an assessment of a recent faculty training in the summer of 2020, due to COVID-19, at a medium size university and its impact on the faculty teaching in the fall 2020 semester. As a response to the immediate change from in-person to online instruction due to COVID-19, a well-known, medium-sized public university made a focused effort to support their faculty in transitioning to an online classroom environment. Each college spent time strategizing, planning and implementing a summer professional development for virtual learning using best practices. In the College of Engineering at the medium sized institution, a committee of faculty and undergraduate students representing each department (Mechanical Engineering, Computer Science & Electrical Engineering, Chemical, BioChemical and Environmental Engineering and Information Systems) decided to leverage the Planning Instructional Variety for Online Teaching (PIVOT) program created by our Division of Information Technology (DoIT). Our committee then designed an expansion to the PIVOT program (PIVOT Plus) that was discipline specific for online teaching. This professional development series included the following; 1. Attending two weeks of online instruction and classroom development hosted by the Division of Instructional Technology 2. Participating in at least three discipline specific workshops facilitated by faculty and undergraduate students in COEIT, and 3. Submit a recorded lesson where an undergraduate teaching assistant and faculty member could provide feedback. At the end of the summer, approximately 60% of the college faculty registered, consisting of full time faculty (tenured, tenured track, lectures) and part-time faculty (adjuncts). From this population 38% completed all aspects of the professional development and (either synchronously or asynchronously). The remaining registrants attended all or part of the training, but didn’t choose to complete the required assignments. Non-registered faculty had the option to attend the discipline specific workshops. To assess the impact of the professional development on the faculty, a mixed-method approach is used at the end of the Fall 2020 semester. This includes interviewing faculty who participated in the PIVOT Plus series and using a validated survey instrument that assesses the faculty’s attitudes, perceptions, and self-efficacy towards online teaching and learning. This is information helped provide a thorough understanding of the impact on the faculty and will help inform the development of future trainings. The preferred method of presenting for this paper is traditional lecture.