About the Project

With prior NSF support (see ccher.wceruw.org) we developed an approach to studying faculty teaching called the Instructional Systems of Practice (ISOP) framework that represents an improvement over existing data sources on teaching such as self-report surveys, unstructured observations, or student ratings. In particular, we treat teaching as a multi-dimensional practice that cannot be reduced to a single data point, and instead is comprised of course planning, classroom practice that is studied using the Teaching Dimensions Observation Protocol (TDOP), and student interpretations of teaching efficacy.

The study will use a longitudinal mixed methods case study design to study decision making and instructional practice over the course of three years at three research universities with active STEM education projects. Data will be gathered in Years 1 and 3 using interviews and classroom observations of STEM instructors, and focus groups and/or surveys of students in these courses, and data on administrative decision-making will be gathered each year using interviews with administrators and STEM education leaders. These data will be analyzed using techniques such as protocol analysis, social network analysis, and correlational analyses. After each round of data collection, reports will be provided to STEM education leaders, and analysts will then assess the utility of these data by interviewing these leaders in each year of the project. Finally, training in the research methodology will be provided to personnel at each research site.


TPDM Tracking the Processes of Data Driven Decision-Making in Higher Education is housed within the Wisconsin Center for Education Research at the School of Education, University of Wisconsin-Madison. This project is funded by the National Science Foundation under Award #1224624. Copyright ©2012, The Board of Regents of the University of Wisconsin System.