High IMPACT Teaching at UNO
A team composed of faculty and administrators at UNO was awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to support faculty teaching general education science, mathematics, and social science courses. The $300k grant funds research identifying the teaching practices, concerns, and needs of UNO faculty and dual-enrollment high school teachers, as well as structural barriers to learning in general education courses.
A major component of this project is the development of an inventory of high-impact teaching practices that can be used by faculty and students to measure the prevalence of evidence-based instructional techniques utilized in a particular course. The resulting inventory is called the Inventory of Methods and Practices Associated with Competent Teaching (IMPACT). There are two versions of the inventory, a faculty self-report (F-IMPACT) and a student observation inventory (SO-IMPACT).
The research team started with the Teaching Practices Inventory (TPI), which was modified to be valid for both face-to-face and online course modalities and is currently undergoing validity studies across disciplines (sciences, math, arts, humanities, etc.). The result is a new version called the Faculty Inventory of Methods and Practices Associated with Competent Teaching, or F-IMPACT.
The original TPI was found to lack face validity for online courses based on responses collected from 90 instructors teaching general education science, mathematics, and social science courses. Several TPI items were rewritten by a team composed of discipline-based education researchers in the sciences and social sciences and education researchers. Further refinement and final content validity was established through external review by experts in online education and a diverse group of instructors. Concurrent validity was established via alignment of modified TPI items to items from the Online SUNY Course Quality Review (OSCQR) rubric.
The resulting inventory provides a generalized self-report on the prevalence of high-impact practices used in a course that is valid whether the course is offered online, face-to-face, or a hybrid of the two. More recent study is focused on validation in other disciplines, such as the arts and humanities, similarly utilizing review by experts in the scholarship of teaching and learning within those disciplines.
Fill out the inventory for a course you teach and get instant results!
Survey responses are scored by category. Scoring is based on the robustness of the evidence supporting a particular method's or practice's positive effect on student learning. One point is assigned to each practice for which there is evidence it supports student learning; two points are assigned to practices for which there is evidence of large and robust benefits. 63 total points are available in this version.
It is not expected that ANY course would use all of the methods and practices surveyed. Therefore, scores are shown in comparison to average scores for University of Nebraska Omaha general education science, mathematics, and social science courses during the Spring 2021 academic semester (N=92).
The methods and practices inventoried do not cover all possible effective practices for all disciplines. However, the inventory is based on methods and practices that have been found to be effective across disciplines and ongoing validity studies are being conducted for other disciplines.
Student Observed IMPACT
Using the F-IMPACT as a foundation, we have also begun developing a student evaluation of teaching (SET) inventory that is free of implicit bias, instructor-actionable, and reliable across student evaluators. This inventory is called the Student Observed Inventory of Methods and Practices Associated with Competent Teaching (SO-IMPACT).
SETs focused on the affective-domain have been criticized for being race and gender biased and for failing to measure the underlying construct: teaching effectiveness. For example, although research-validated high-impact teaching practices (HIPs) are more likely to be used in courses with minority and/or women instructors in a variety of fields, this population often scores lower on SETs, which are frequently used in personnel decisions.
To construct an anti-racist and anti-sexist SET, language was modified to turn the F-IMPACT into a student observation protocol, where over the course of 15 prompts students identify HIPs used in the course. In contrast to affective-domain SETs, the SO-IMPACT was designed to minimize subjective judgements. Either a student did or did not observe a specific practice.
Initial face validity of the SET has been established via student focus groups and clarity surveys (N = 22), and reliability and congruent validity studies are ongoing. Preliminary results (N = 92) show higher use of HIPs by minorities and/or women, as expected from the literature.
For more information, please contact the project PI Dr. Christopher Moore