Engaging Faculty in Redesigning Courses for Active Learning

Topics: Student Retention and Success, Faculty Affairs, Academic Affairs, Curriculum Development, Academic Planning

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Research Questions

  • How have other institutions facilitated active learning instructional delivery in gatekeeper courses?
  • How did administrators at other institutions garner faculty buy-in?
  • What professional development opportunities have other institutions offered to gatekeeper instructors, enabling a transition from lecture-based to active learning delivery?
  • What types of faculty ranks (e.g., tenured, tenure-track, or adjunct faculty) participate in instruction of gatekeeper courses? 


When overhauling course design, academic leaders must gain the support of a broad range of faculty. Specifically, this brief examines considerations for involving faculty in developing active learning techniques for gatekeeper courses. (e.g., how to communicate the rationale for the provost’s involvement in curriculum goals and how to encourage faculty ownership of course redesigns). The brief also outlines strategies and incentives to create broad instructor participation. Additionally, the report describes differing levels of instructor involvement across faculty ranks at profiled institutions and strategies for creating sustainable active learning initiatives.

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