Doing Research to Improve Teaching and Learning : A Guide for College and University Faculty book cover
1st Edition

Doing Research to Improve Teaching and Learning
A Guide for College and University Faculty

ISBN 9781138020917
Published October 13, 2014 by Routledge
238 Pages

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Book Description

Given the increased accountability at the college and university level, one of the most promising ways for faculty at institutions of higher education to improve their teaching is to capitalize upon their skills as researchers. This book is a step-by-step guide for doing research to inform and improve teaching and learning. With background and instruction about how to engage in these methodologies—including qualitative, quantitative, and mixed methods—Doing Research to Improve Teaching and Learning provides examples across disciplines of how to use one's research skills to improve teaching. This valuable resource equips faculty with the skills to collect and use different types of research evidence to improve teaching and learning in any college and university classroom.

Special Features:

  • Chapter openers highlight the questions and issues that will be addressed in each chapter.
  • Recurring text boxes provide authentic examples from actual research studies, student work, and instructor reflections.
  • Coverage of challenges, key successes, and lessons learned from classroom research presents a nuanced and complete understanding of the process.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1: What Are "Teaching as Research" and the "Scholarship of Teaching and Learning" and Why Should Everyone in Higher Education Care?

Chapter 2: Doing Classroom Research In Higher Education—The Possibilities And Limitations

Chapter 3: Qualitative Research Methods In Teaching And Learning

Chapter 4: Quantitative Research Methods In Teaching and Learning

Chapter 5: Using Assessment Data As Research Evidence To Improve Teaching And Learning

Chapter 6: Mixed Methods And Triangulation Of Evidence

Chapter 7: Case Studies And Pilot Studies

Chapter 8: Reflective Collaborative Research Working Groups To Close The Loop And Continue The Process

Chapter 9: Conclusions, So What And Now What




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Kimberly M. Williams is a Teaching Support Specialist in the Center for Teaching Excellence at Cornell University. She is also part-time on the graduate faculty at Plymouth State University and an Independent Educational Consultant.


"The most compelling evidence of what students know and can do comes from their performance on course assignments and other educationally purposeful experiences. This book, peppered with instructive examples, presents much-needed guidance for faculty to gather and use such evidence to improve their teaching and student achievement."

--George D. Kuh, Director, National Institute for Learning Outcomes Assessment, and Adjunct Research Professor, University of Illinois

"Great teaching is informed by active scholarship, just as innovative scholarship is fueled by dynamic classroom interactions. Kimberly Williams’s new book uses concrete examples from a wide range of disciplines to demonstrate how the processes of teaching and learning can be enhanced through classroom-based research. Many faculty will find this volume to be helpful and inspiring."

--Leo M. Lambert, President, Elon University

"I will recommend this book to new and seasoned classroom instructors interested in assessing the connections between their teaching and their students’ learning. Whether preparing a course for the first time or revising a standard favorite, faculty from any academic discipline can select from myriad strategies and methods to pursue the perennial question: Are my students learning what I am trying to teach them? Most faculty members are motivated to be great classroom teachers but struggle to confirm the impact of their efforts. Regardless of academic discipline, this book offers a wide range of accessible and practical methods and strategies for faculty to apply to questions about teaching efficacy. This collection of ‘teaching as research’ methods and models is a fresh addition to the literature and will be welcomed by Directors of Centers for Teaching Excellence everywhere."

--Kim Mooney, Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Franklin Pierce University