Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

The Evaluation of Doctoral Level "Development and Learning" and "Instructional Planning and Evaluation" Courses

Academic journal article Kuram ve Uygulamada Egitim Bilimleri

The Evaluation of Doctoral Level "Development and Learning" and "Instructional Planning and Evaluation" Courses

Article excerpt

Abstract

The present study aimed to evaluate two doctoral level courses that are offered in Ege University. The study employed both quantitative and qualitative methods. Achievement tests and attitude scales were administered to the students in a one group pretest-posttest design. In terms of gender, 61% of the students were females and 39% were males. Semi-structured interviews were carried out with lecturers and selected students. Results showed that there were significant differences in achievement and attitude scores between the beginning and end of the semester. The students were satisfied with the lecturers in terms of instructional & communicational skills. However, they were not satisfied in terms of presentations and exams. Besides, they preferred the courses to be elective and mentioned that the courses should have been started at the beginning of the graduate programs, especially for research assistants and lecturers. Although the excessive course contents and the insufficiency of time were the areas of compliance among the lecturers, they considered that the courses reached their objectives in general.

Key Words

Lecturer Training, Curriculum Evaluation, Instructional Planning and Evaluation, Development and Learning

Various suggestions to improve academic personnel have been made in the literature. However, there are limited studies related to field specific teaching activities and their validation. Particularly, clearly defining the services called "teaching" becomes harder. As the era, economic conditions, and academic personals' values have been changed, so have the comments on how to improve academic personal (Orsmond & Stiles, 2002). Accordingly, a considerable effort has been allocated to creating performance indicators that address the three major functions of a university: research, service, and teaching and learning. Of the three functions, teaching and learning has received the most attention (Burke & Serban, 1998; Whiteley, Porter, & Fenske, 1992; cited in Alberto, Colbeck & Terenzini 2001). However, new faculty members lack the commitment and experience in this field. They are product of post graduate education that prepares them only to conduct research in an area of knowledge. This is an important task, but it does not prepare them for the full range of faculty responsibilities, specifically for teaching (Gaff, 1994). Furthermore, the new faculty members pass through a critical period for learning the job and forming attitudes about it during the initial years, they may easily move from a more liberal and idealistic perspectives to a more conventional and bureaucratic ones (Reynolds, 1992). From this point of view, Murray and Holmes (1997) noted that as long as lecturers in higher education are not trained, they will not be instructors.

In order to establish effective faculty development programs, a step by step approach and an understanding of effective faculty development programs are required. Therefore, it is necessary to be informed about the models that have been developed so far. Examples of these models are the Concerns-Based Adoption Model (CBAM) (Loucks-Horsley & Stiegelbauer, 1970), Spark's Model (Spark, 1983), RPTIM (Readiness, Planning, Training, Implementation and Maintenance) Model (Wood, 1989), and Lawler and King's (2000) Adult Learning Model (cited in Akpinar-Wilsing & Paykoç, 2004, p.72).

When the principles and values underlie the instructional dimensions of these models are investigated, an "effective teaching" concept arises. Ramsden (1992) offered six key principles of an effective teaching in higher education: a clear explanation of complex subject matters; a conscientious consideration for students; an appropriate assessment and feedback; clear goals and intellectual challenge; student independence, control and active engagement; and learning from students. Various answers have been given to how to evaluate effective teaching. …

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