Outcomes of a Course Design Workshop Series Implemented in a Team-Based and Diverse Classroom Setting
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Studies provide extensive evidence that a diverse faculty and staff in academia helps bring a wide range of backgrounds, perspectives, experiences, and innovation. In this regard, a 9- session course was taught in Summer 2019 titled Transforming Your Research Into Teaching, that provided 15 aspiring faculty with a platform to more deeply understand the significance of diversity and community in teaching and learning. In this course, the graduate students and postdoctoral fellows from widely divergent backgrounds at Iowa State University designed a new course related to their own research work/interest, in a team-based and diverse classroom-based setting. The teaching-as-research question addressed in this study was—How Effective Teambased Learning (TBL) and Classroom Diversity are in Preparing Future Teachers through a Course Design Workshop Series? Graduate students and postdocs at R1 universities mostly strive to do research, while many of them aspire to land faculty positions that require teaching and leadership capabilities. Unfortunately, they hardly get any teaching training, moreover in a diverse and TBL environment, making a course like this crucial to their success. Course impact was measured using 6-point Likert scales and analyzed descriptively. Data and participant feedback were indicative of significant learning in effective course design from a diverse and team-based setting, something that other aspirants can explore in planning academic careers or after landing faculty positions, that they can implement in their workplace to develop a richly diverse and dynamic intellectual community.