Presentation on theme: "Understanding Tenured/Tenure-Track Faculty Participation in Residential Learning Communities at Research- Extensive Institutions Kirsten Kennedy, Ph.D."— Presentation transcript:
Understanding Tenured/Tenure-Track Faculty Participation in Residential Learning Communities at Research- Extensive Institutions Kirsten Kennedy, Ph.D. University of Missouri - Columbia
Purpose To understand tenured/tenure-track faculty motivation to participate in residential learning communities at research-extensive institutions.
Rationale Current research on faculty participation in learning communities does not differentiate by institutional type or by tenured/tenure-track (TTT) status of faculty (LaPoint, 1995; Golde & Pribbenow, 2000; Einarson & Clarkberg, 2004) The motivation of faculty participation needed to be explored to better understand facultys motivation, given a (TTT) reward structure that marginalizes this participation. Practioners ability to recruit faculty
Learning Communities small subgroups of students … characterized by a common sense of purpose … that can be used to build a sense of group identity, cohesiveness, and uniqueness that encourage continuity and the integration of diverse curricular and co-curricular experiences (Astin, 1985, p. 161).
Learning Communities …refers to a variety of curricular approaches that intentionally link or cluster two or more courses, often around an interdisciplinary them or problem, and enroll a common cohort of students. They represent an intentional restructuring of students time, credit, and learning experiences to build community, enhance learning, and foster connections among students, faculty and disciplines (Smith, MacGregor, Matthews, & Gabelnick, 2004).
Benefits to Students Increased manageability of large campuses by dividing into subsets Increased faculty-student interaction Enhanced cognitive development Increased academic achievement and retention Increased satisfaction with collegiate experience Increased student involvement Increased interaction with peers Enhanced growth and development
Effects on Institutions Increased enrollment yields Increased freshman to sophomore retention rates Increased student affairs and academic affairs personnel interaction Possible increase in monetary donations
Effects on Participating Faculty Renewed sense of excitement about teaching Change in teaching strategies Better prepared students
Faculty Work Life Issues Institutional mission creep/academic ratchet Shift in faculty time allocation among research, teaching, and service Faculty concerns about promotion and tenure
Why Do Faculty Participate at Your Institution? Groups of about 6 Name Institution Institutional Type (Research, Liberal Arts, Doctoral, Comprehensive, etc.) Why your faculty participate
Role Play I am an assistant professor in the chemistry department at your institution. You want me to become a faculty participant in your residential learning community because students have said that Im a really great professor. You take me to lunch to try to convince me….
Conceptual Framework – Motivational Systems Theory Motivation: the organized patterning of three psychological functions that serve to direct, energize, and regulate goal- directed activity: personal goals, emotional arousal processes, and personal agency beliefs (Ford, 1992, p. 3).
Conceptual Framework Personal Agency Beliefs Context beliefs Departments level of supportiveness Role in promotion and tenure process Capability beliefs Ability to make a commitment to the residential learning community Time Role in residential learning community
Research Questions Why did tenured/tenure-track faculty participate in residential learning communities? If a tenured/tenure-track faculty member chose not to participate in a residential learning community what were the reasons?
Research Questions (contd) If a tenured/tenure-track faculty member ceased to participate in a residential learning community, what were the reasons? What role did the promotion and tenure structure play in the decision to participate or not participate in a residential learning community?
Collection Sites Three Research-Extensive Institutions Residential Learning Communities roles for faculty length of time in operation depth of development breadth of offerings
Participant Selection Contacted learning community recruiter at each institution Sought varied faculty participation levels Employed purposeful sampling
Participants Interviewed 48 faculty 36 tenured/tenure-track 12 contingent faculty Participation Status TTT 24 current participants 6 former participants 6 non participants Gender TTT 10 female 26 male Institution TTT 18 from Institution 1 14 from Institution 2 4 from Institution 3 Faculty Rank TTT 2 assistant professors 9 associate professors 25 full professors Race/Ethnicity None self-identified Researcher did not ask
Data Collection Semi-structured interviews Loosely structured interview protocol Six weeks data collection period in spring 2005
Data Analysis Interviews tape recorded Tapes transcribed Analyzed using coding General (Open) coding Axial coding Selective coding (story line developed)
#1. Why did tenured/tenure-track faculty participate in residential learning communities? Faculty enjoyed interacting with students Faculty liked having a positive influence on students academic performance and social integration Faculty in administrative roles saw recruitment and retention benefits Male faculty wanted to be seen as approachable by students Women faculty in science and engineering majors wanted to keep women in the majors by providing a network of support
#1. contd Why did tenured/tenure-track faculty participate in residential learning communities? Non factors Professional goals Drawbacks to participation Lack of time Disrespect for faculty time
#2. If a tenured/tenure-track faculty member chose not to participate in a residential learning community, what were the reasons? Had other outlets for interacting with students Felt awkward dealing with the affective side of students Thought it inappropriate and intrusive to interact with students in the residence hall environment
#3. If a tenured/tenure-track faculty member ceased to participate in a residential learning community, what were the reasons? Had pre-determined terms of service Cited lack of time for stopping their participation Were sometimes unsure of their role in the learning community Perceived disrespect for their time
#4. What role did the promotion and tenure structure play in the decision to participate or not participate in a residential learning community? Sacrificed research time to participate in the learning community Had already done enough research Multi-tasked to fit in all of their activities Thought participation would count as service or for credit in teaching Thought participation would have no effect on promotion and/or tenure
Analysis – MST Taxonomy of Personal Agency Belief Patterns Context Beliefs Capability Beliefs StrongModerateWeak PositiveRobustModestFragile NeutralTenaciousVulnerable Self- Doubting Negative Accepting OR Antagonistic DiscouragedHopeless Adapted from Ford (1992)
Implications for Practice Identify faculty who enjoy working with students Know and articulate the role for faculty in residential learning communities Respect faculty time Be aware of faculty members stage in promotion/tenure process Be aware of size of the faculty members department
Practically Speaking… Ask the faculty member about the extent of support from the department Put faculty in touch with other faculty who currently participate (underground network) Try to influence those factors you can Realize that some faculty will simply cycle out