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Mentoring Faculty

Researchers: James Sandefur, Erblin Mehmetaj, and Michael Raney.


Description: Jim is experienced at teaching modified flipped classes, while Erblin and Mike primarily use a lecture format. In this project Jim and Mike each taught a section of Introduction to Proofs and Problem Solving (Proofs) in the Fall, and Jim and Erblin each are teaching a section in the Spring. Jim wrote the notes for the course and has recorded mini-video lessons making it easier to teach a flipped course. The URL for the videos are embedded in the student text.


The course is organized by having the students first watch a video, then read the associated text, and finally to try some problems. Then in class, the instructor answers questions then gives the students problems to work on during class in groups with the instructor going around listening and giving pointers. At the end of the class, the instructor brings closure to the class by going over several of the problems, discussing what the point was behind each.


In the parallel classes, Mike and Erblin are giving the same assignments as Jim, and are giving the same in-class problems. Jim and the instructor of that semester meet frequently to talk about issues that have come up and how the course is progressing. In this way, Erblin and Mike are getting support in learning to teach flipped classes. Mike and Erblin are also attending a seminar for Georgetown faculty who are using technology in teaching.Research


Question: How does intense mentoring and support both change a faculty member's attitudes about teaching and their actual approach to teaching?


Data Collection: Videos of Mike, Jim and Erblin talking about the teaching of this course beforehand. We have observed each other's classes and videotaped our follow-up discussion about what we saw.

We had independent outside observers come to class and interview the students about the class and then the outside evaluators met with Jim and the other instructor jointly to discuss how the evaluations went. These sessions were recorded and written feedback was given to both instructors.

At the end of each semester, the two instructors compare their course evaluations, particularly the written feedback.


Timeline: Fall, 2018, Mike and Jim teach course and collect data. Mike and Erblin attend seminar Spring, 2019, Erblin and Jim teach course and collect data. Mike and Erblin atend seminar. Fall, 2019, Mike and Erblin teach course with Jim's support and we collect data Spring, 2020, Jim and Erblin teach course and collect data. Summer/Fall 2020, The three of us, together with the observer, will look at the data and write our paper.

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This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. 1795952 . Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.