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A Change Model Approach: Integrating the Evaluation of Synergistic Departmental Efforts to Transform Engineering Education

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Curricular Advancements in ECE

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

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Paper Authors


Brandi Geisinger Iowa State University

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Brandi Geisinger is a Research and Evaluation Scientist with the Research Institute for Studies in Education at Iowa State University. She conducts research and program evaluation with a particular focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion; campus climate; and STEM education. She has expertise in research and evaluation methodology, including both qualitative and quantitative analyses.

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Arlene de la Mora Iowa State University

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Arlene de la Mora, Ph.D. has been a researcher and program evaluator at Iowa State University since 2002. Dr. de la Mora's work focuses on research, programs, and evaluation that focus on educational programs. She has served as an evaluator for several STEM programs that include Iowa State's National Science Foundation, Electrical, Computer, and Software Engineers as Leaders (ECSEL) and the AGEP-North Carolina Alliance: An Institutional Transformation Model to Increase Minority STEM Doctoral Student and Faculty Success.

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Cori J. Hyde


Diane T. Rover Iowa State University

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Diane Rover is a University Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Iowa State University. She has held various faculty and administrative appointments at ISU and Michigan State University since 1991. She received the B.S. in computer science in 1984, and the M.S. and Ph.D. in computer engineering in 1986 and 1989 (ISU). Her teaching and research has focused on embedded computer systems, reconfigurable hardware, parallel and distributed systems, visualization, performance monitoring and evaluation, and engineering education. She has held officer positions in the ASEE ECE Division, served as an associate editor for the ASEE Journal of Engineering Education, and served on the IEEE Committee on Engineering Accreditation Activities, the IEEE Education Society Board of Governors, the ABET EAC (2009-2014), and EAC Executive Committee (2015-2018). Dr. Rover is a Fellow of the IEEE and of ASEE.

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The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at a large Midwestern University is seeking to enhance undergraduate engineering education through a combination of programmatic efforts to create departmental change. Three distinct programs aim to transform ECE education through collaborative course design, enhancements to the department climate, and increases in the opportunities for underrepresented undergraduate engineering students. Due to the integrative and corresponding programmatic goals, it was vital to develop a unified evaluation in line with the program evaluation standards (Yarbrough, Shulha, Hopson, & Caruthers, 2011). Further, the interaction of multiple programs necessitated evaluating goal attainment at both the programmatic and departmental levels to determine not only the effects of individual programs but also to examine the broader effect of the interaction of multiple ongoing programmatic efforts to enhance engineering education.

To facilitate this process, program team members developed comprehensive lists of ongoing activities designed to create change in the department within each program. Evaluators worked with the program teams to theme and cluster activities into similar groups. To understand how each cluster of activities was positioned to create departmental change and revolutionize engineering education, the evaluators and team members then attempted to identify how each cluster of activities worked as change strategies within the model by Henderson, Beach, and Finkelstein (2011). Thus, evaluators were able to identify over twenty distinct clusters of change activities working as change strategies within the four pillars of the change model: Curriculum and pedagogy, reflective teachers, policy, and shared vision. Positioning activities within this model allowed the evaluators and team members to 1) Better understand the broad scope of departmental activities and change strategies, 2) Identify strengths and challenges associated with their current efforts to transform engineering education within the department, and 3) Develop and integrate ongoing evaluation efforts to further understand both the programmatic and interactive effects of having multiple programs designed at facilitating departmental change and enhancing engineering education.

The model for understanding department change and the approaches within that model that are being used to transform ECE education will be presented. We will further explain how the change model approach facilitated evaluating each program and the interactive effects of the combined programmatic efforts within the program evaluation standards of utility, feasibility, propriety, and accuracy (Yarbrough et al., 2011). Specific programmatic and interactive evaluation approaches will be discussed.

References Henderson, C., Beach, A., & Finkelstein, N. (2011). Facilitating change in undergraduate STEM instructional practices: An analytic review of the literature. Journal of Research in Science Teaching, 48(8), 952-984.

Yarbrough, D. B., Shulha, L. M., Hopson, R. K., & Caruthers, F. A. (2011). The program evaluation standards: A guide for evaluators and evaluation users (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

Geisinger, B., & de la Mora, A., & Hyde, C. J., & Rover, D. T. (2020, June), A Change Model Approach: Integrating the Evaluation of Synergistic Departmental Efforts to Transform Engineering Education Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--33978

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