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International Faculty Professional Development: Utilizing Hybrid Environments to Deepen Learning and Grow Community

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


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Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Evidence-based Practices in Faculty Development

Tagged Division

Faculty Development Division

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Paper Authors


Mary Slowinski College of the Canyons

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Mary Slowinski is an educator/consultant specializing in educator-industry partnerships and collaborative learning research and design. She received her PhD in Learning Science from the University of Washington with a dissertation on communities of practice for educators. Mary is PI and co-PI on National Science Foundation research and special project grants focused on industry/education partnerships. In addition, she has worked with several NSF Advanced Technological Education program centers and projects to provide a range of services including the development and deployment of curricula for three international faculty learning projects, serving as an innovation coach to support the scaling up innovative practices in technical education, developing curricular and learning materials based on learning science, and facilitating groups in a variety of settings. In addition, Mary is tenured faculty at Bellevue College for the Digital Media Arts program.

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Gabrielle P. Temple

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Mrs. Temple is the Project Manager for the National Science Foundation Center for Renewable Energy Advanced Technological Education (CREATE) and the Co-PI on the National Science Foundation Energy Storage Project (ESP) at Madison Area Technical College in Wisconsin. She has spent the last nine years as the Project Manager for the National Science Foundation CREATE Center at College of the Canyons in California, and has more than fifteen years’ experience working on NSF grants. During her time as Project Manager for CREATE, Mrs. Temple coordinated three successful international projects funded through NSF to explore the renewable energy achievements in Australia, New Zealand, Denmark, Virgin Islands and Germany. Mrs. Temple started her career in the private sector in accounting and finance before coming to College of the Canyons. Mrs. Temple earned her B.A. in Communications with an emphasis in Public Relations at California State University Bakersfield and a M.A. in Strategic Communications from National University. In addition to her grant administration duties, Mrs. Temple is an Instructor in Communication Studies at College of the Canyons in California.

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Kenneth Walz Madison Area Technical College

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Dr. Walz completed his Ph.D. at the University of Wisconsin in Environmental Chemistry and Technology, while conducting electrochemical research on lithium-ion batteries with Argonne National Laboratory and Rayovac. His studies also included research with the University of Rochester Center for Photo-Induced Charge Transfer. Since 2003, Dr. Walz has taught chemistry and engineering at Madison Area Technical College, where he also serves as the director of the Center for Renewable Energy Advanced Technological Education (CREATE).

Dr. Walz is also an adjunct professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Wisconsin. He has served as teacher for the UW Delta Center for Integrating Research, Teaching and Learning, and has mentored several graduate students who completed teaching internships while creating new instructional materials for renewable energy and chemical education. Dr. Walz is also an instructor with the Wisconsin K-12 Energy Education Program (KEEP), delivering professional development courses in energy science for public school teachers.

Dr. Walz is an alumnus of the Department of Energy Academies Creating Teacher Scientists (DOE ACTS) Program, and he worked at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) conducting research in renewable fuels and electrochemical materials. He continues his work with NREL, serving as an instructor for the Summer Renewable Energy Institute for middle and high school teachers. Dr. Walz has been recognized as Professor of the Year by the Carnegie Foundation and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education, and as the Energy Educator of the Year by the Wisconsin Association for Environmental Education.

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This evidence-based practice paper will address the distinct challenges of ensuring academic rigor and anchoring and assessing learning when conducting international professional development opportunities for educators. In 2019, the NSF-ATE CREATE Energy Center took a group of nine renewable energy educators to Germany to study innovations in renewable energy and energy storage and to learn how these emerging technologies are incorporated into educational programming and workforce preparation. Knowledge gathered by participants will be converted into curricula and instructional materials that will be shared nationally.

Learning components were crafted to ensure participant preparedness, academic rigor, constructive reflection and collaborative knowledge-building. Participant activities were conducted prior to travel, during travel, and post-travel; these were administered online and designed using learning science theory, and best practices. Prior to travel, participants reviewed learning materials, contributed to topical discussions, and participated in webinars to ensure fundamental knowledge of the German energy sector, energy transition (Energiewende), educational system, and political environment. This preparatory work encouraged knowledge sharing and initiated a collaborative team-learning dynamic prior to meeting and traveling together. Activities during travel captured participant learning and formative reflections, while post-travel work focused on summative reflection and applications of knowledge gained.

Data was collected throughout this effort. Discussion posts, site visit reports, and individual inquiry papers were submitted online and analyzed, both during and after travel. Additional data was collected utilizing pre- and post-surveys conducted immediately before and after the time abroad. Finally, through the completion of an individual inquiry essay and the administration of a six-month post-travel survey focused on implementations of the knowledge gained and and instructional innovations that resulted from the project.

This paper, and subsequent discussion panel, will present the the analysis from the summative post-travel survey along with recommended practices for enhancing faculty learning when providing international professional development opportunities.

Presentation type: Moderator (project learning coordinator) discusses paper with input by a panel of participants. Otherwise open to suggestions!

Slowinski, M., & Temple, G. P., & Walz, K. (2020, June), International Faculty Professional Development: Utilizing Hybrid Environments to Deepen Learning and Grow Community Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34867

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