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Record identifier : 569792
Personal Name - Primary Intelectual Responsibility : Harper, Betty J
Title and statement of responsibility : Tightening curricular cohesion: The influence of faculty continuous improvement activities on student learning [Thesis]
Publication, Distribution,Etc. : The Pennsylvania State University, 2008
Language of the Item : eng
Dissertation of thesis details and type of degree : Ph.D
Body granting the degree : , The Pennsylvania State University
Summary or Abstract : Over the past decade, continuous improvement has emerged as a strategy for documenting and systematically building academic program quality. This study examines the influence of faculty members' continuous improvement activities (as reflected in curriculum planning, instructional development, projects to improve undergraduate education, and participation in assessment) on the relationships between student and institutional characteristics, student experiences in- and out-of-class, and student learning outcomes. While there is an extensive literature related to the application of continuous improvement and the implementation of assessment, few studies have empirically explored the link between continuous improvement and student learning. This study uses a nationally representative sample of engineering faculty members and students to explore this link. In phase I, engineering programs were grouped based on their status as high or low continuous improvement programs. In phase II hierarchical models explored the direct effect of continuous improvement on student learning outcomes, controlling for student and institutional characteristics. In phase III, a multiple-group path analysis explored the indirect effects of continuous improvement through a multiple group analysis in which the conceptual model was fit to the data for the high and for the low programs separately. The result of the cluster analysis validated the use of the four continuous improvement variables to differentiate engineering programs into high and low continuous improvement groups. Group membership, however, was not a significant influence on student learning in the two-level hierarchical model tested, and program-level variance was small, suggesting that a single-level model with students as the unit of analysis was appropriate and that the influence of continuous improvement on student outcomes is likely an indirect one. The path models for the high and low groups differed significantly, supporting the hypothesis that continuous improvement indirectly influences the relationships between student and institutional characteristics, student experiences, and student learning outcomes. Further, the path results suggested a number of conceptually supportable modifications to the analytical and conceptual frameworks used in the study. These modifications suggest that the relationship between student experiences and student outcomes is not unidirectional, as originally conceptualized, and that relationships between different experiences and between different outcomes deserve further attention..
Topical Name Used as Subject : Curriculum development
: Higher education
Information of biblio record : TL
 
 
 
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