Journal of Research in Innovative Teaching and Learning
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The purpose of this paper is to describe an online faculty development pilot course on how to engage students online. A framework was used, referred to as the Trifecta of Student Engagement, for the design of the course. The Trifecta of Student Engagement proposes that students, in order to be fully engaged in a course, need to be engaged with their course content, with their peers and with their instructor. The course has three units of content that each correspond to the Trifecta of Student Engagement. This course has gone through one pilot with faculty and has impacted students and faculty positively.
An online faculty development course was piloted with eight faculty members across a range of disciplines who participated in the program. After taking the course, they had to apply the Trifecta of Student Engagement framework to a course they taught and share what they did via written report, webinar, or web presentation. This study summarized the faculty participants’ written reports and presentations as well as provided a qualitative evaluation on the impact this course had on students and faculty.
After faculty applied the Trifecta of Student Engagement framework to courses taught, faculty saw an improvement in student engagement, satisfaction, learning and achievement. Three faculty surveyed students to determine their engagement and satisfaction and found students to respond positively to the use of tools and activities for student-to-content engagement, student-to-student engagement and student-to-instructor engagement. Two faculty examined student grades to determine if there were changes in student outcomes. One professor saw average grades increase by 11 percent. Another professor saw grades improve by 8 percent. She also found that student assessment of learning increased by 0.57. Both faculty attributed the improvement to the effectiveness of the teaching strategies employed.
This research is limited to the eight faculty who participated in the pilot. Some faculty used methods to attempt to measure the impacts of their teaching practices by surveying students and looking at student performance data. A second pilot is needed for additional faculty to take the course and apply the Trifecta of Engagement framework to generate more data for impact.
Institutions looking to create an online teaching professional development course for faculty can utilize the Trifecta of Student Engagement framework for their course design. Additionally, faculty can read about tools and strategies that they can immediately apply to create more student-to-content engagement, student-to-student engagement and student-to-instructor engagement.
Faculty can be more intentional in how they engage students in their online course experience.
This paper adds to the literature on faculty development regarding student-centered teaching practices. Other institutions looking to create a faculty development course or program that utilizes a student-centered framework may find aspects of this paper useful for their own online teaching professional development initiatives.
Digital USD Citation
Leslie, Heather J. PhD, "Trifecta of Student Engagement: A Framework for an Online Teaching Professional Development Course for Faculty in Higher Education" (2019). Learning Design Center: Staff Scholarship. 2.