Community college faculty experiences with learner outcomes and the influence on professional practice Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/hh63t0028

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  • The study was designed to determine how learner outcomes, one aspect of a comprehensive assessment plan at an urban community college in the Northwest, may have influenced professional practice. Research subjects were selected from a group of forty-four faculty who participated in a college sponsored professional development activity. The purpose of this activity was to provide resources for faculty to develop curriculum from a learner outcomes perspective. The researcher was interested in how the adoption of learner outcomes may have influenced pedagogical methods, instructional content, classroom assessment, or other aspects of professional practice. Research participants responded to open-ended interview questions administered by the researcher. The shared phenomenon being investigated was the experience of community college faculty who were directly involved with transforming instructional objectives to learner outcomes and/or assisting other faculty with the conversion. Data were analyzed following a five-step process based on phenomenological research methods. Five themes were evident in the data: 1) importance of the process (writing outcomes and designing curriculum); 2) changes in classroom instruction; 3) classroom assessment modifications; 4) the integrative nature of the experience; and 5) changes in the classroom experience for students. The data indicated that participants shared two common experiences--writing outcomes and changing the syllabi as a result of incorporating learner outcomes. The findings indicated that learner outcomes influenced professional practice. However, the degree of influence was not at the same level of intensity for all participants and the degree of influence was not related to the number of years a participant had been teaching. Experienced faculty with twenty or more years of experience were distributed among three subgroups which denoted the degree of influence on professional practice or the amount of change evident from lower to higher levels of intensity.
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