Examining effects of an evidence-based professional development program on student achievement

Lydia Ross, Kristi Glassmeyer, Claire Fletcher Honeycutt, Eugene Judson, Stephen J. Krause, James A. Middleton, Keith D. Hjelmstad, Kara L. Hjelmstad, Lindy Hamilton Mayled, Robert J. Culbertson

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


This is a complete research-based paper examining the effects of a professional development program on student achievement. Research indicates that student-centered, or active learning, teaching strategies promote greater student learning and achievement. However, teacher-centered, or lecture-based, pedagogical practices remain the dominant instructional practice in higher education engineering classrooms. Therefore, there is a strong need for professional development programs for faculty to learn more about active learning strategies and ways to implement student-centered teaching practices in the classroom. The setting for this study is an NSF-funded professional development program at a large southwestern university. The program utilizes a “train-the-trainer” model to promote the use of active learning pedagogical practices to engineering faculty across multiple disciplines. This study examines the effects of the professional development program on changes in student achievement in the classes of participating faculty. This study utilized student grade data from the years 2015 - 2018, which serves as pre- and post-professional development data. Only those faculty participants' courses that were the same during the fall and spring semester, respectively, from before and after the professional development program were included in the analysis. Utilizing linear mixed effects models, pre- and post-data were analyzed to assess for effects on student achievement after the professional development program. Results indicate no significant differences in student achievement after participating in the professional development program. However, this analysis is only a subset of all program participants, so further research should be conducted. We conclude with a discussion of the results, areas for future research, and takeaways for other professional development programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Jun 15 2019
Event126th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: Charged Up for the Next 125 Years, ASEE 2019 - Tampa, United States
Duration: Jun 15 2019Jun 19 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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