Georgia Southern faculty participate in Bill & Melinda Gates mindset study
Georgia Southern University is one of 10 colleges and universities that recently participated in an Association of College and University Educators (ACUE) study which demonstrates that when college and university faculty participate in high-quality and comprehensive courses in effective teaching practices, they report substantial increases in their confidence.
They also reported positive changes in their mindsets toward improving student learning and overall student experiences. The study, funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, also revealed that students taught by faculty who participated in ACUE courses perceived significant increases in their own growth mindset, as well as their confidence participating in class, attending office hours and managing their coursework and deadlines. Analyzed data came from nearly 3,000 student surveys.
Georgia Southern, under the guidance of its Faculty Center, participated in the initiative from spring 2021 to fall 2022, with three cohorts of faculty and more than 65 enrolled faculty members who successfully completed all 25 modules on effective teaching practices. Participants who met all course requirements earned a Certificate of Effective College Instruction from ACUE.
“Georgia Southern is pleased with the final data from this study,” said Carl Reiber, Ph.D., provost and executive vice president for Academic Affairs. “The work of this grant demonstrates the power of faculty development on faculty and ultimately, student success.”
The study, “Impacts of Faculty Development on Faculty’s Mindsets and Self-Efficacy,” focused on gateway courses, the first credit-bearing, college-level course in a program of study, with data collected from more than 570 participating faculty who participated in ACUE’s comprehensive Effective Teaching Practice Framework courses. The study also included more than 1,000 faculty who have not yet participated in ACUE’s Framework courses but who teach gateway courses. Faculty were surveyed four times over two years, employing mindset items originally developed by noted researcher Carol Dweck. Students enrolled in gateway courses taught by faculty who participated in ACUE’s courses were also surveyed.
“Mindsets matter,” said ACUE President and Co-founder Jonathan Gyurko, Ph.D. “What we believe about our students’ ability to learn affects what they will learn, or won’t. Even though beliefs are famously hard to change, today’s strong findings show that minds change when professors become better teachers. It’s more evidence that the best way to educate many more students for purposeful lives is to ensure effective instruction in every class.”
Details on the study are available for download at https://acue.org/mindset-research/.
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