A hierarchical linear model that enabled us to study the effect of classroom experience on shifts in student attitudes showed three factors that explained most of the variation attributable to classroom experience: "use of technology," which had little effect except when use by graduate teaching assistants when it had a strong negative effect; "good teaching," which had a strong positive effect that was most pronounced for the students entering with poor attitudes; and "progressive pedagogies," which had a negative effect but which interacted very strongly with "good teaching," producing a positive effect when combined with high "good teaching" and a negative effect when combined with low "good teaching."
We also identified seven characteristics of successful programs:
- Regular use of local data to guide curricular and structural modifications.
- Attention to the effectiveness of placement procedures.
- Coordination of instruction, including the building of communities of practice.
- Construction of challenging and engaging courses.
- Use of student-centered pedagogies and active-learning strategies.
- Effective training of graduate teaching assistants.
- Proactive student support services, including the fostering of student academic and social integration.
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Protocols for classroom observation.