Date of Conferral
Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)
Mary E. Batiuk
In an international university in Thailand, with students coming from 92 different
countries, faculty members reported a need for professional development (PD). The purpose of this study was to understand faculty members' needs and preferences in the undergraduate department to help the administration offer appropriate PD programs. In accordance with the situated cognition theory, professional learning was approached as a social process embedded in workplace interactions. Research questions pertained to teachers' perceptions about their learning needs, program preferences, and the relationship between PD and student learning outcomes. In this descriptive case study, data were collected from fulltime faculty members via a focus group of 5 participants and 8 individual face-to-face and email interviews. In accordance with a maximum variation sampling strategy, the sample included faculty members from varied academic and cultural backgrounds and diverse lengths of experience in the university. Thematic coding analysis revealed 4 themes: (a) a desire to learn specific content such as classroom management techniques, pedagogy for university-level students, assessment design, and instructional technology; (b) a desire to observe and apply new techniques to better engage diverse students in large classes; (c) a desire to learn collegially to share context-relevant information; and (d) expectations from the university administration. As a result of this study, tailored recommendations for this university were derived to contribute to social change. Appropriate PD programs can enable faculty members to hone their pedagogical skills and improve student learning experience in this multicultural setting.