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PEDAR: Executive Summary Teaching Undergraduates in U.S. Postsecondary Institutions: Fall 1998
Introduction
Who Teaches Undergraduates?
Who Teaches Undergraduates? Overall Pattern
Who Teaches Undergraduates? Variation Across Type of Institutions
Who Teaches Undergraduates? Use of Part-Time Faculty and Teaching Assistants
Who Teaches Undergraduates? Involvement of Senior Faculty Teaching Undergraduates
Who Teaches Undergraduates? Characteristics of Faculty Who Taught Undergraduate Classes
Who Teaches Undergraduates? Independent Relationship of Specific Variables to Teaching Undergraduate Classes
How Much Do Faculty Teach?
How Much Do Faculty Teach? Time Allocated to Undergraduate Teaching Activities
How Much Do Faculty Teach? Undergraduate Teaching Loads
How Much Do Faculty Teach? Teaching Loads Varied Among Those Who Did Some Undergraduate Teaching
What Kinds of Teaching Practices Do Faculty Use in Their Undergraduate Classes?
Conclusions
Research Methodology
References
Full Report (PDF)
Executive Summary (PDF)
What Kinds of Teaching Practices Do Faculty Use in Their Undergraduate Classes?

Instructional faculty and staff with classroom teaching duties were asked about their use of various methods—lecture/discussion, seminar, lab/clinic, and apprenticeship/field work—as primary teaching methods in their classes. According to their responses, the predominant teaching method for undergraduate classes was lecture/discussion. In fall 1998, 83 percent of instructional faculty and staff who taught undergraduate classes reported using lecture/discussion in at least one of their undergraduate classes. Compared with lecture/discussion, faculty less frequently relied on other teaching methods as primary methods in at least one of their undergraduate classes: 21 percent of faculty used labs or clinics, 11 percent used seminars, and only 5 percent used field work, such as internships and apprenticeships. This pattern held true among both full- and part-time faculty.

Instructional faculty and staff also used a variety of methods to make assignments, assess students, and grade students' performance. In fall 1998, 60 percent of instructional faculty and staff who taught at least one undergraduate class indicated that they assigned term/research papers in some or all of their undergraduate classes; 44 percent asked students to evaluate each other's work; and 40 percent asked students to submit multiple drafts of written work. To assess students, 62 percent used short-answer midterm or final exams in some or all of their undergraduate classes; 60 percent used essay exams; and 58 percent used multiple-choice exams. To grade students' performance in some or all of their undergraduate classes, instructional faculty and staff were more likely to report using competency-based grading than grading on a curve to assess students' performance (61 percent vs. 30 percent).

While lecture/discussion was popular, faculty's use of other instructional methods was related to their teaching disciplines. For example, at 4-year doctoral institutions, full-time faculty in the fine arts (32 percent) and health sciences (30 percent) were more likely than average (16 percent) to use labs/clinics as their primary instructional method in one or more of their undergraduate classes, while their colleagues in the humanities (4 percent), business (7 percent), and social sciences (7 percent) were less likely to do so. Full-time faculty in the health sciences (11 percent) were more likely than their colleagues in business, humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences (1 percent to 2 percent) to use apprenticeship/field work as the primary method of teaching.


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National Center for Education Statistics - http://nces.ed.gov
U.S. Department of Education