Educational conceptions, needs and practices of university teachers: perspectives for training



Our previous experience with university teacher training led us to launch a new research project aimed at refining our approach by examining the teaching conceptions and practices and support and training needs of university teachers from various disciplines.

Increasing our knowledge in this respect could lead to targeted training activities involving actors who have hitherto appeared largely uninterested by the issue.

Statistical analysis was carried out using a French adaptation of the Inventory of Teaching Approaches.

Our primary research objective was to identify the teaching conceptions and practices and support needs of university teachers from various disciplines and of varying levels of experience in three Québec universities of different sizes and environments. Further to our objectives of identification and comparison, we sought to define appropriate educational development interventions for each context and to define possible directions for future research.

We adopted a multi-methodological approach involving quantitative and qualitative measures. Statistical analysis was carried out using a French adaptation of the Inventory of Teaching Approaches, which was first validated through factorial analysis.

This type of study is limited by the relatively small number of subjects and their inherent interest in teaching. The abundance of qualitative data may also have affected the validity of the results, and may have influenced the choice made by the analysts. At the same time, the 6-hour observation times were too restrictive and could not produce a complete picture of actual variations in the classroom. However, a number of convergent results point to the general validity of our approach, which has the advantage of offering relevant, fact-based directions for targeted actions to improve the education provided to students in Québec universities.

Main researcher

Louise Langevin, Université du Québec à Montréal

Research report

Call for proposals

Deposit of the research report: March 2007