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Board 311: Impacts of the ProQual Institute: Building Communities of Technical Stem Faculty for Long-Term Engagement in Educational Research

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Conference

2023 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Baltimore , Maryland

Publication Date

June 25, 2023

Start Date

June 25, 2023

End Date

June 28, 2023

Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Tagged Topics

Diversity and NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count

16

DOI

10.18260/1-2--42865

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/42865

Download Count

140

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Paper Authors

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John Ray Morelock University of Georgia Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-8043-5060

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Dr. Morelock is an Assistant Professor of Practice with an emphasis on engineering education research, and the Associate Director of Educational Innovation and Impact for UGA's Engineering Education Transformations Institute (EETI). In addition to coordinating EETI’s faculty development programming, Dr. Morelock conducts research on institutional change via faculty development, with an emphasis on innovative ways to cultivate and evaluate supportive teaching and learning networks in engineering departments and colleges. He received his doctoral degree in Engineering Education at Virginia Tech, where he was a recipient of the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. His dissertation studied the teaching practices of engineering instructors during game-based learning activities, and how these practices affected student motivation.

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Dominik May University of Wuppertal Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-9860-1864

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Dr. May is a Professor at the University of Wuppertal. He researches online and intercultural engineering education. His primary research focuses on the development, introduction, practical use, and educational value of online laboratories (remote, virtual, and cross-reality) and online experimentation in engineering and technical education. In his work, he focuses on developing broader educational strategies for designing and using online engineering equipment, putting these into practice, and providing the evidence base for further development efforts. Moreover, Dr. May is developing instructional concepts to bring students into international study contexts to experience intercultural collaboration and develop respective competencies.

Dr. May is President of the International Association of Online Engineering (IAOE), which is an international nonprofit organization to encourage the wider development, distribution, and application of Online Engineering (OE) technologies and their influence on society. Furthermore, he serves as Editor-in-Chief for the International Journal of Emerging Technologies in Learning (iJET) intending to promote the interdisciplinary discussion of engineers, educators, and engineering education researchers around technology, instruction, and research. Dr. May has organized several international conferences in the Engineering Education Research field.

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Aileen Reid University of North Carolina, Greensboro Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-8099-1435

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Dr. Aileen Reid is an Assistant Professor of Educational Research Methodology in the Information, Library, and Research Sciences department and a Senior Fellow in the Office of Assessment, Evaluation, and Research Services (OAERS) at UNC Greensboro. Dr. Reid has expertise in culturally responsive, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) and mixed methods research and evaluation, educational measurement and assessment, and organizational change. Dr. Reid’s research applies culturally responsive frameworks to evaluation and measurement to shape educational research and policy and respond to societal challenges. This work centers on social justice, access, diversity, equity, and inclusion. It challenges researchers and practitioners to look at our own cultural location as well as key dimensions of practice to incite change (e.g., context, relationships, validity, methodology, and design). Within this line of inquiry, Dr. Reid investigates inequities in outcomes among underrepresented and minoritized groups, specifically how the intersection of identities and practice impacts engagement and responsiveness to varying contexts and cultures. She also investigates values-engaged teaching, learning, and mentorship in research and evaluation. Dr. Reid presents and publishes her work in program evaluation, education, and the STEM disciplines. Dr. Reid directs the STEM Program Evaluation Lab (SPEL), which provides training in research and evaluation for graduate and undergraduate students on STEM education projects. Dr. Reid is the external evaluator for six National Science Foundation (NSF) funded projects and the principal/co-principal/co-investigator on four grants funded by NSF and the National Institutes of Health.

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Ayesha Sherita Sherita Boyce

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Nicola W. Sochacka University of Georgia

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Dr. Nicola Sochacka is the Associate Director for Research Initiation and Enablement in the Engineering Education Transformations Institute (EETI) in the College of Engineering at the University of Georgia. She co-developed the ProQual approach, which she uses to build capacity and community around interpretive educational research methods among STEM faculty and students.

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Joachim Walther University of Georgia

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Dr. Joachim Walther is a Professor of engineering education research at the University of Georgia and the Founding Director of the Engineering Education Transformations Institute (EETI) in the College of Engineering. He is dedicated to lowering the barriers for STEM faculty and students to conduct high-quality, interpretive, educational research. He co-developed the ProQual approach, a method that is designed to demystify interpretive research for faculty and students from technical backgrounds.

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Chaturved Janaki University of Georgia

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Abstract

This NSF Grantees Poster Session paper reports on the impacts of the ProQual Institute—a $1M NSF award via the NSF ECR-EHR Core Research program in 2019—as it nears the end of its penultimate year. The ProQual Institute’s goal is to build national capacity for STEM education research by engaging technical STEM from across the U.S. in cohorts that participate in a semester-long course on qualitative and mixed methods educational research techniques. Faculty from underrepresented backgrounds and from minority-serving institutions were given priority consideration in terms of recruitment and admission to participate in the project. This project was funded on the basis of impact rather than knowledge generation; thus, this paper will report on the impacts of the ProQual Institute in terms of participants served, outcomes, and project team observations.    Using the Qualifying Qualitative Research Quality (Q3) framework pioneered by Dr. Joachim Walther and colleagues as a foundation, the project team guided three cohorts of faculty (50 faculty total) in designing qualitative or mixed methods studies to address research questions they wanted to answer about their educational contexts. The project team has also hosted four follow-up research incubators (each one semester long) as spaces to allow graduates of the ProQual Institute to continue working together as a community to continue developing educational research projects to completion or apply for extramural funding opportunities (serving 27 faculty total.) Finally, the team has funded graduates of the ProQual Institute to lead communities of practice focused on areas of shared research interest among graduates. These communities of practice were run independently from the project team.   Preliminary project evaluation results indicate that the ProQual Institute has been a resounding success in achieving the goal of enabling and empowering technical engineering faculty to engage lastingly in educational research. Through the developing shared language and a common methodological framework during the semester-long course, graduates of the ProQual Institute were able to effectively support one another in continuing to develop educational research projects beyond the course itself. The project team observed that “leading” the research incubators required surprisingly little effort, as participants were capable of guiding myriad conversations around education research design on their own. The outcomes of the ProQual Institute have important implications for the proliferation of educational research capacity in STEM, particularly in terms of the role of community in lasting engagement and the efficacy of propagation over dissemination as a guiding framework for change.

Morelock, J. R., & May, D., & Reid, A., & Boyce, A. S. S., & Sochacka, N. W., & Walther, J., & Janaki, C. (2023, June), Board 311: Impacts of the ProQual Institute: Building Communities of Technical Stem Faculty for Long-Term Engagement in Educational Research Paper presented at 2023 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Baltimore , Maryland. 10.18260/1-2--42865

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