R. Lee1, B. Lovell1, C. Brotheridge2

1University of Manitoba (CANADA)
2Université du Québec à Montréal (CANADA)

Interest in faculty professional development has been increasing in higher education. Faculty development programs should concentrate on ways to improve instructional performance and include things such as balancing one’s professional and personal roles. Our objective is to examine several possible predictors of teaching effectiveness in instructional settings. These predictors include teaching motivation, work-life balance, burnout, coping strategies to deal with the challenges of teaching, and attitudes toward teaching and students.


A web-link to a self-report questionnaire was emailed to professors and instructors from the faculties of Architecture, Arts, Engineering, Management, and Science during the fall of 2009. Of the 114 study participants, half were male, and the mean years of instructional experience were 20. Our questionnaire included measures of instrumental and intrinsic teaching motivation, work-life conflict and enrichment, two stress-coping strategies (problem-solving and cognitive reappraisal), teaching and student satisfaction, the Maslach Burnout Inventory-General Survey, which assesses the dimensions of emotional exhaustion, cynicism and professional efficacy, and overall teaching effectiveness based on student ratings of their instructional performance.


Using multiple regression analyses, the following results were obtained: Instrumental motivation was positively associated with emotional exhaustion and cynicism; whereas intrinsic motivation was negatively associated with cynicism and positively associated with efficacy. Work-life conflict was positively associated with emotional exhaustion and cynicism; whereas work-life enrichment was positively associated with efficacy. Cognitive reappraisal was positively associated with cynicism whereas problem-solving was positively associated with efficacy. Both intrinsic motivation and efficacy were positively associated with teaching effectiveness.


Our study found that intrinsic teaching motivation was the most important determinant of teaching effectiveness and along with efficacy, facilitated performance in the classroom. The implication of our findings is that professional development programs should provide instructional support mechanisms to encourage intrinsic motivation, as well as resources that facilitate career-life balance and constructive ways to cope with the challenges of academia.