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The process of collaborative teaching: A multiple case study of an alternative method of instruction in higher education

Andrzej Z Wlodarczyk, University of Nebraska - Lincoln


The purpose of this multiple case study was to explore and gain in-depth understanding of the process of collaborative teaching, conducted by two teams of two faculty members, and one team of three faculty members, teaching in a major Midwestern research university. ^ Qualitative research methods were used to gather information from purposefully selected teams of faculty members. Data were collected through interviews, reviewing documents related to the process of collaborative teaching and participant observations. The interviews were audio taped and transcribed into a written narrative. The individual case study issues that emerged by analyzing the information collected from the interviews, observations, and evaluation of documents were grouped with other case studies to form one inclusive list. From the combined list, the issues were analyzed to determine a common set of cross-case themes. The six cross case themes of The Need for Collaboration, Relationship Building, Teaching/Learning Philosophy, Task Completion, Professional Development, and Evolutionary Nature of Collaboration provided data valuable to the research on the process of collaborative teaching. ^ The results of this study indicated the following: ^ Collaborative teaching is an emergent process that evolves throughout the period of working together, beginning at the initiation of the collaboration and ending upon the termination of their work. ^ The conducted study confirmed the existing research findings on small group development which claims that two dominant areas collaborators have to deal with to successfully complete their work are relationship issues and task issues. ^ In contrast with the identified literature, the researcher found that male collaborators value relationship building in a comparable manner to that presented by the female collaborator present in the study. ^ Identification and choice of collaborating partners prior to the initiation of the collaboration was identified as the crucial component of the collaborative process. ^ The professional development of faculty members has been found to be a significant product of the collaborative effort. ^ Cohesive teaching styles, in terms of understanding the ways in which students learn best, among collaborating faculty members has been found conducive to a more fruitful collaboration. ^

Subject Area

Education, Curriculum and Instruction|Education, Higher

Recommended Citation

Wlodarczyk, Andrzej Z, "The process of collaborative teaching: A multiple case study of an alternative method of instruction in higher education" (2000). ETD collection for University of Nebraska - Lincoln. AAI9977034.