Jameson, Molly M.

Committee Member

Darling, Ryan

Committee Member

Bergstrom, Cassendra M.

Committee Member

McCartin, Lyda F.


College of Education and Behavioral Sciences Department of Psychological Sciences Educational Psychology


University of Northern Colorado

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Place of Publication

Greeley, (Colo.)


University of Northern Colorado

Date Created



159 pages

Digital Origin

Born digital


Graduate student professional development initiatives aim to prepare future faculty for college-level teaching. One such program is the Certificate in College Teaching (CCT). CCT programs provide graduate students with foundational knowledge and authentic teaching experiences to prepare them to design and deliver instruction at the college level. Participants report positive perceptions of these programs during and after completion, but evidence of concrete program outcomes is limited. Two potential outcomes of graduate student professional development are the use of pedagogical metacognition (reflection on and action upon teaching) and knowledge of teaching and learning (identification of research-based teaching strategies and application to one’s teaching). As such, this dissertation explored the impact of an asynchronous CCT curriculum on participants’ pedagogical metacognition and knowledge of teaching and learning. Before the CCT began, 22 participants completed a written knowledge check in which they read three scenarios describing a hypothetical instructor’s pedagogy, identified apparent issues, and provided suggestions for improvement. Throughout the curriculum, participants engaged with each teaching scenario a second time after learning about specific research-based teaching strategies relevant in higher education (e.g., alternative assessments, Universal Design for Learning, backward design) through readings and video recordings. Several participants volunteered to expand on their experiences in virtual focus group discussions. Rigorous qualitative thematic analysis of all data sources together revealed that participants implemented pedagogical metacognition throughout the asynchronous curriculum, while deepening and increasing the specificity of their teaching knowledge. These findings suggest that the CCT program may provide graduate students with practice using pedagogical metacognition and deeper teaching knowledge. Both skills are essential to successful college-level teaching and resultant student learning. Educational developers, centers for teaching and learning, and graduate program coordinators may find these results particularly useful in planning or revising graduate student teaching development initiatives.

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