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An Analysis of the Fidelity of Implementation of Research-Based Instructional Strategies in the Statics Classroom

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Novel Pedagogies 1

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.147.1 - 23.147.17



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Paper Authors


Stephanie Cutler Virginia Tech

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Stephanie Cutler is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Engineering Education at Virginia Tech. Ms. Cutler’s dissertation will focus on how engineering education research is adopted into practice, specifically how Research Based Instructional Strategies are implemented in the statics classroom. Ms. Cutler received her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Virginia Commonwealth University and her M.S. in Industrial and Systems Engineering with an emphasis on Human Factors from Virginia Tech.

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Maura J. Borrego University of Texas, Austin

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An Analysis of the Fidelity of Implementation of Research-Based Instructional Strategiesin the Statics ClassroomMany teaching innovations have been developed over the last 20 years, including a number ofResearch-Based Instructional Strategies (RBIS). However, there is limited research to addresshow many faculty members are using these strategies, or when they do implement them, whetherthey are following the theory and steps as intended by the developers. The measure of how wellan implemented intervention follows the original is called Fidelity of Implementation. We soughtto understand Fidelity of Implementation in engineering statics courses using a national surveyof statics instructors. Their reported use of nine RBIS was compared to their reported use ofclassroom activities identified as critical components corresponding to RBIS use. Criticalcomponents for the RBIS were identified and examined as to whether they were implemented inconjunction with the various RBIS and if they discriminated between users and nonusers. To quantify the fidelity of the different RBIS, the percentage of required criticalcomponents implemented in conjunction with the RBIS was examined. Use of all criticalcomponents for the given RBIS varied from 3-83%. Higher percentages (65-83%) wereassociated with RBIS that had one required critical component, including Active Learning andConcept Tests. For RBIS with higher numbers (3-5) of critical components (Problem BasedLearning, Peer Instruction, Collaborative Learning, Think-Pair-Share, and CooperativeLearning), it was seen that though the percentage of users with complete fidelity (all criticalcomponents) was low (3-66%), the percentage that did not include any components was alsolow; most with 0% of users having no or only 1 critical component used in the classroom. To measure the discrimination between users and non-users by critical components, a chisquare was completed comparing the RBIS to the different activities. A number of RBIS (ActiveLearning, Collaborative Learning, and Concept Tests) had significant differences between usersand non-users for all of the required components. There were also a number of classroomactivities that were not considered critical components for a particular RBIS that also had asignificant relationship, which may indicate adaptations of the RBIS that were not considered inthe literature.

Cutler, S., & Borrego, M. J. (2013, June), An Analysis of the Fidelity of Implementation of Research-Based Instructional Strategies in the Statics Classroom Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--19161

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