Current Research Projects

The Growing Preference of Relationship-Based Teaching Methods among Health Professions Educators

Research Team: Amanda R. Dumoulin, Shayna A. Rusticus, and Daniel D. Pratt


The Harvard Macy Institute Program for Educators in Health Professions aims to develop health professionals’ skills as educators. Within this field, there is an increasing emphasis on situated learning theory and its focus on social learning processes, which directly relates to how educators interact with, and teach, their students.  We sought to explore whether there has been a shift in the dominant teaching perspectives among the health professionals who have attended this one-year program. A total of 815 participants completed the Teaching Perspectives Inventory (TPI) between 2016 and 2021 at the start of their program. For each participant, we first coded the data to identify their dominant teaching perspective as: transmission, apprenticeship, nurturing, developmental, social reform, multiple dominant traits, or no dominant trait. For the sample overall, the most common perspectives were apprenticeship (29%) and nurturing (23%), while the least common perspective was social reform (0.7%). Next, we descriptively compared the proportions of dominant teaching perspectives across the six cohorts of the program, which revealed three key patterns. One, apprenticeship was the dominant perspective in every cohort. Two, an increase was seen for the transmission perspective from 2019 (1%) to 2021 (18%). This may be due to the changes in instructional delivery due to COVID-19. Three, there was also a general increase in the proportions of the nurturing perspective from 2016 (16%) to 2020 (30%). This perspective focuses on relationship building with students, which shows support for the increasing emphasis on social learning processes in health professions education.  

This abstract has been accepted for poster presentation at the 2021 CHES Celebration of Scholarship

Narratives of Empowerment through Attaining a Black Belt in Mixed Martial Arts  

Research Team: Shayna A. Rusticus, Amanda R. Dumoulin 

The purpose of this study is to qualitatively explore the experiences of individuals who have attained a black belt in mixed martial arts.  

Currently the data for this study has been collected and analyzed and a manuscript is being prepared.

Validation of the Teamwork Expectations and Attitudes Measure 

Research team: Brittney Stobbe, Jonathan B. K. Lau, Brandon J. Justus, and Shayna A. Rusticus 


Teamwork is essential in any group projects and being able to identify attitudes and expectations could support students, teachers, and instructors with learning. To help identify attitudes and expectations in groups, our study developed a scaled called the Teamwork Expectations and Attitudes Measure (TEAM). First, two pilot studies were conducted to develop and refine the items. Starting with 75-items, the TEAM scale was completed into a 14-item unidimensional scale. Second, the pilot studies were followed up with a validation study which confirmed the unidimensional structure of the scale and provided evidence of convergent, discriminant, and criterion validity. In the end, the purpose of the developing the TEAM scale was to create something that could assist instructors and students on the perception of teamwork in class, which in turn could shred knowledge about the class’ overall view about group work. Therefore, with the significant findings from this study, the TEAM scale can be useful tool in undergraduate environments that need extra support in examining teamwork within classes.  

This paper has been submitted for publication and is currently under review.

Justus, B. J., Rusticus, S. A., Stobbe, B. L. P., Lau, J. B. K. (2021, June). Using the Teamwork Expectations and Attitudes Measure (TEAM) to assess student perceptions of working in teams [Poster] 2021 Annual Meeting of the National Council on Measurement in Education, Virtual.

Does Level of Teaching and Teaching Experience Indicate a Teacher’s Teaching Perspective? A Descriptive Analysis Using the Teaching Perspective Inventory 

Research team: Amanda R. Dumoulin, Brandon J. Justus, Shayna A. Rusticus, and Daniel D. Pratt


The Teaching Perspectives Inventory (TPI) assesses teacher’s beliefs, intentions, and actions as they relate to the five teaching perspectives of transmission, apprenticeship, nurturing, developmental, and social reform. In this study we explored whether there was a relationship between teachers’ dominant teaching perspectives and both level of teaching (elementary to graduate) and teaching experience (novice to very experienced) in a sample of 54,176 respondents from Canada and the United States. A chi-square test of independence revealed a statistically significant and medium-sized relationship between teaching perspective and level of teaching, with a nurturing perspective being more common among elementary and secondary teachers and an apprenticeship perspective being more common among undergraduate and graduate teachers. A second chi-square test of independent revealed a statistically significant but small relationship between teaching perspective and teaching experience. All experience levels had the same rank ordering of perspectives: nurturing, apprenticeship, developmental, transmission, then social reform. Understanding patterns and diversity in teaching perspectives can help institutions foster faculty development to provide a more personalized approach to supporting their educators, allowing for the benefits to be felt by the students. 

The paper has been submitted for publication and is currently under review.

Dumoulin, A. R., Justus, B. J., Rusticus, S. A., & Pratt, D. D. (2021, June). Teaching perspectives are related to level of education and teaching experience [Poster]. 82nd Canadian Psychological Association Annual National Convention, Virtual.

Adapting the Employable Skills Self-Efficacy Survey

Research team: Amanda R. Dumoulin and Shayna A. Rusticus

Based on the findings of the Employable Skills Self-Efficacy Survey (ESSES) Validation Study, we are revising the ESSES. Items have been added and revised based on their factor loadings, subscale reliability, and theoretical relevance.

We are currently collecting data for pilot for this project. If you would like to participate, access the survey through SONA.