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

Abstract

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.

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Notes

  1. 1.

    Asparouhov and Muthén (2012) warn against relying on simple differences of \(\chi_{\text{LR}}^{2}\) to examine incremental fit in testing a k1 class versus a k class model. Instead, they recommend using the \(\chi_{{{\text{LMR-LRT}}}}^{2}\) statistics, which is estimated using the bootstrap procedures contained in Mplus TECH14 option.

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Acknowledgments

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

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Correspondence to Corbin M. Campbell.

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Campbell, C.M., Cabrera, A.F., Ostrow Michel, J. et al. From Comprehensive to Singular: A Latent Class Analysis of College Teaching Practices. Res High Educ 58, 581–604 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11162-016-9440-0

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Keywords

  • College teaching
  • Latent class analysis
  • Active learning
  • Cognitive responsiveness
  • Observation