Research in Higher Education

, Volume 58, Issue 6, pp 581–604 | Cite as

From Comprehensive to Singular: A Latent Class Analysis of College Teaching Practices

  • Corbin M. CampbellEmail author
  • Alberto F. Cabrera
  • Jessica Ostrow Michel
  • Shikha Patel


While decades of research on college teaching has investigated several forms of classroom practices, much of this research approaches teaching as falling into mutually exclusive paradigms (e.g., active learning vs. lecturing). This paper enters inside the college classroom using external raters to understand patterns of pedagogical practices embedded in heterogeneous groups of courses. The study used quantitative observation and draws on data from a multi-institutional study of 587 courses across nine institutions to understand the patterns of teaching practices within courses. Latent class analyses demonstrated that there were five patterns of seven course practices that cluster around active learning, lecturing, and cognitively responsive practices: Comprehensive, Traditional Lecture, Active Lecture, Integrative Discussion, and Active Only.


College teaching Latent class analysis Active learning Cognitive responsiveness Observation 



This research was supported by a National Academy of Education/Spencer Foundation fellowship.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Corbin M. Campbell
    • 1
    Email author
  • Alberto F. Cabrera
    • 2
  • Jessica Ostrow Michel
    • 1
  • Shikha Patel
    • 1
  1. 1.Teachers CollegeColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.University of MarylandCollege ParkUSA

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