We set out to answer these two research questions: 1. What factors affect student engagement in a new course offering in which many new approaches (for this student population) are being used? 2. How does student engagement affect learning outcomes?
Unfortunately, I transferred from the School of Nursing to the Medical School during the period of this project, so my ability to directly affect the teaching of this and other School of Nursing classes has been lessened. However, I have shared the findings with my colleagues in the School of Nursing, and in particular with the faculty member who now teaches this course. Some of the insights have been incorporated into how teams are formed, to try to support students who may struggle with team based work and group assignments, in an attempt to better support them. We found that the 105 students who completed the 14 week course engaged at a high level, despite the challenges of a large, web-blended course. In the analyses completed to date, we used the adjustment factors from the Comprehensive Assessment of Team Member Effectiveness (CATME), measuring perceptions of how effectively students engaged with their assigned teams. CATME is a set of survey instruments, consisting of baseline assessments as well as assessments of team effectiveness completed by all students at three times during the 14 week course. We found that the CATME adjustment factors were skewed to the right, with a range of 0.07 to 1.05, and an interquartile range of 1.0 to 1.03. The mean was 1.002 with a standard deviation of 0.054. In multivariable analysis, we found that the only variable from the baseline survey that appeared to be significantly associated with the CATME adjustment factor was GPA from previous degree, which was positively associated with the CATME adjustment factor. There was a trend (p=0.12) for an association between preference for leadership rather than being a follower in a team and the CATME adjustment factor. Both of these may fit with high achieving, more leadership-oriented students being more effective team members.
I have discussed the findings informally with the group of colleagues who teach the three large, web-blended courses. I will explore the opportunity to present findings more formally to colleagues. I will also complete planned analyses and plan to submit a manuscript to a peer-reviewed publication.