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An Interdisciplinary RET Program: Assessment with Concerns-Based Adoption Model (RTP)

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2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

October 19, 2019

Conference Session

Professional Development for Pre-Service and In-Service Teachers

Tagged Division

Pre-College Engineering Education

Tagged Topic


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Paper Authors


Jeremy Dylan Smith M.S. Virginia Tech Orcid 16x16

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An Engineering Education doctoral candidate at Virginia Tech, Jeremy has both a bachelors and masters degree in mechanical engineering from The University of Oklahoma. He was heavily involved in extracurricular activities there including SAE Baja, Pi Tau Sigma, and other clubs. Through these numerous experiences, he learned to appreciate different ways of learning and knowing, and decided to pursue a philosophy degree in the education of engineering content.

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Vinod K. Lohani Virginia Tech

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Dr. Vinod K. Lohani is a Professor of Engineering Education and also serves as the Director of education and global initiatives at an interdisciplinary research institute called the Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science (ICTAS) at Virginia Tech. He is the founding director of an interdisciplinary lab called Learning Enhanced Watershed Assessment System (LEWAS) at VT. He received a Ph.D. in civil engineering from VT. His research interests are in the areas of computer-supported research and learning systems, hydrology, engineering education, and international collaboration. He has served as a PI or co-PI on 16 projects, funded by the National Science Foundation, with a $6.4 million research funding participation from external sources. He has been directing/co-directing an NSF/Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Site on interdisciplinary water sciences and engineering at VT since 2007. This site has 95 alumni to date. He also leads an NSF/Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) site on interdisciplinary water research and have 10 alumni. He also leads an NSF-funded cybersecurity education project and serves as a co-PI on two International Research Experiences for Students (IRES) projects funded by the NSF. He has published over 90 papers in peer-reviewed journals and conferences.

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In 2008, the US National Academy of Engineering (NAE) announced fourteen Grand Challenges in engineering that require solutions in the 21st century. A Research Experiences for Teachers (RET) site at Virginia Tech (VT) is motivated by this Grand Challenge and aims to educate local teachers (and through them their students) about the interdisciplinary aspects of water research to make them aware of water-related issues, and to guide them to develop appropriate solutions to address these challenges. In this work we share details of our RET site and our assessment findings for the first two years of the RET program regarding teacher concerns for adoption of innovative curricular material and their levels of implementation of the activities in their classrooms. We conducted a small survey, focus group, and utilized two instruments from the Concerns-Based Adoption Model (CBAM): the Stages of Concern questionnaire (SoC) and Levels of Use (LoU) interviews, on the first two cohorts of our RET program. Eleven of the teachers thirteen teachers interviewed have implemented in their classes at least once. We did not find a generalizable correlation between creative achievement and level of implementation, but the teacher with the highest creative achievement questionnaire (CAQ) score implemented three projects within the semester immediately following the summer professional development program. The focus group revealed teachers had enthusiasm and gratitude for the summer program overall.

Keywords: professional development, Research Experiences for Teachers (RET), innovation adoption, interdisciplinarity, water, RET, CBAM, curricular design

Smith, J. D., & Lohani, V. K. (2019, June), An Interdisciplinary RET Program: Assessment with Concerns-Based Adoption Model (RTP) Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32075

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