F10-D&BP3-2 - Revealing teaching conceptions and methods through document elicitation of course syllabi and statements of teaching philosophy

3. Research Full Paper
Natascha Buswell1 , Catherine Berdanier2
1 University of California, Irvine
2 Pennsylvania State University

With poor teaching quality being of concern in higher education in engineering, this Full Research Paper seeks to investigate an interview approach that aims to gain insight into an instructor’s teaching methods and conceptions. This interview approach is called document elicitation, a method based on the interviewing approach of photo elicitation. Understanding an instructor’s teaching conceptions and methods is useful in gaining insight into how and why people teach. Using document elicitation during an interview with two documents, 1) course syllabi, and 2) statements of teaching philosophy, this paper reports on the generative descriptions of teaching a syllabi and statements of teaching philosophy offer in a document elicitation setting. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with twelve assistant professors of engineering. The analysis focuses on the document elicitation portion of the interviews. Inductive-deductive thematic analysis was used to develop a codebook of teaching conceptions and methods. The paper reports on the teaching conceptions and methods that the participants describe, including active learning techniques, inclusive practices, and challenges. This paper may particularly interest people who conduct interviews for research and/or hiring purposes. Document elicitation as part of a hiring interview seems promising as a way to learn about a candidate’s teaching conceptions and methods.