Department of Teaching, Learning and Teacher Education


Date of this Version


Document Type



The Nebraska Educator 1 (2014), pp. 78-100.


Copyright © 2014 University of Nebraska-Lincoln


In higher education, professors are seen as the subject matter experts, yet many pedagogical decisions are made by administrators. This leaves teaching professionals without a voice in the reform process and in some instances without the resources necessary for implementation of change, yet still responsible for enactment of change. This case study describes the issues for faculty who are adopting imposed changes to pedagogical course design at a post-secondary institution. It examines how faculty express concerns, as well as how they interpret administration responses to those concerns. The findings reveal four key themes in faculty resistance to imposed pedagogical change: Fear and Anxiety, Encouragement without Support, Insufficient Training, and Student Resistance to New Pedagogy. It is clear that administration and faculty at the study site recognize the significance of, and the necessity for, changes in pedagogy. Multiple changes to practice have been incorporated at this institution such as an increase in the number of graduate and undergraduate online course offerings and a significant increase in the use of collaborative learning strategies, team teaching, and other alternative pedagogical practices. It appears that administration and faculty have developed a culture that is open to continuous pedagogical change using evidence-based research to engage faculty and students.