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Keith Trigwell, University of Oxford Paul Ginns, University of Sydney
Themes: learning and teaching methods, assessment
One of the few available instruments for exploring the relations between the way teachers teach and conceive of assessment, and the ways students of those teachers experience learning, including the assessment demands, is the Approaches to Teaching Inventory. It has now been used in a variety of contexts (disciplines, university types and teaching at different student study levels) and shows, with some consistency, how qualitatively different ways of teaching are related to a range of teaching-related variables. Because of this growing interest and use, in the last few years this instrument has been the focus of critical inquiry by its developers and others. Late last year a detailed description of the development of the instrument was published in a refereed journal (Trigwell & Prosser, 2004). A second, and highly respected, refereed journal has also accepted for publication, a confirmatory factor analysis supporting the validity of the two ATI scales (CCSF and ITTF) (Prosser & Trigwell, accepted). During these investigations it became clear that some of the 16 items were not working as effectively as others, and that in the ITTF scale particularly, the nature of the existing items were thought to be showing a bias against teaching involving quality presentation.
As a result of these reviews, a revised 25-item version of the ATI was developed and tested in November-December 2004. A total of 318 academic staff from 4 different universities in Australia and one university in the UK completed the new version. Confirmatory factor analyses showed:
The new ATI-R, which will be made available at the conference, contains 22 items. Both the ITTF and CCSF scales contain 7 of the original 8 ATI items and 4 new items.
In this presentation, we summarise the origins of the ATI as outlined in the two refereed papers, we present the results of the analysis of the ATI-R, we outline the differences and advantages of the new 22-item version of the ATI and describe some of the ways the instrument can be used in pedagogic research. This last area will be set up as the focus of the discussion as we see this instrument as being an essential part of many investigations involving the ways teachers approach their teaching, relations with their conceptions of teaching, including assessment (Trigwell and Prosser, 1996) and how students experience the assessment environment.