Paired teaching research

The goal of the paired teaching research project is to evaluate current best practices and to learn about the application of this type of professional development in new contexts.

In our study, we are looking at the following questions:

  • Does the paired teaching model for faculty professional development transfer well to new disciplines and contexts within the Faculty of Science? What are key commonalities and differences across disciplines?
  • How does paired teaching influence participating faculty members’ expressions about teaching and learning? How does it influence their subsequent teaching practices?

We make every effort to ensure that our study’s data collection does not increase participating faculty’s workload or time commitment. The study is designed to use the same activities faculty members would normally engage in during their participation in the initiative. The activities include semi-structured interviews, reflections, and a classroom observation protocol (Classroom Observation Protocol for Undergraduate STEM; Smith et al., 2013). We will use qualitative content analysis to analyze COPUS data and code for emergent themes.

This study, which was approved by the Institutional Research Ethics Board (H18-02148), will build on earlier research about paired teaching (see below) and inform our research team on the effectiveness of the paired teaching program for faculty professional development. Outcomes will be used to iterate and improve Teaching Startup for future years, as we expect the initiative to grow. Our study is in the data collection stage, and we will communicate the results of our research as they become available.


Strubbe, L.E., J. Stang, T. Holland, S.B. Sherman, and W.J. Code, 2019. Faculty Adoption of Active Learning Strategies via Paired Teaching: Conclusions From Two Science Departments. Journal of College Science Teaching, 49(1):31-39.

Holland, T., S.B. Sherman, and S. Harris, 2018. Paired Teaching: A Professional Development Model for Adopting Evidence-Based Practices. College Teaching 66(3):148-57.

Stang, J., L. Strubbe, T. Holland, and S.B. Sherman, 2017. Paired teaching: High-impact, low-cost professional development in evidence-based teaching for new faculty. Accessed online at

Smith, M.K., F.H.M. Jones, S.L. Gilbert, and C.E. Wieman, 2013. The Classroom Observation Protocol for Undergraduate STEM (COPUS): A New Instrument to Characterize University STEM Classroom Practices. CBE Life Sciences Education, 12(4):618-627.