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Social Network Analysis of Faculty Connections in a Multi-year Professional Development Program

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Conference

2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

First-year Programs Division: Collection

Tagged Division

First-Year Programs

Page Count

15

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/30971

Download Count

37

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Paper Authors

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James A. Middleton Arizona State University

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James A. Middleton is Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Director of the Center for Research on Education in Science, Mathematics, Engineering, and Technology at Arizona State University. Previously, Dr. Middleton was Associate Dean for Research in the Mary Lou Fulton College of Education at Arizona State University, and Director of the Division of Curriculum and Instruction. He received his Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1992, where he also served in the National Center for Research on Mathematical Sciences Education as a postdoctoral scholar.

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Eugene Judson Arizona State University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/https://0000-0002-0124-8476

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Eugene Judson is an Associate Professor of for the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University. He also serves as an Extension Services Consultant for the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT). His past experiences include having been a middle school science teacher, Director of Academic and Instructional Support for the Arizona Department of Education, a research scientist for the Center for Research on Education in Science, Mathematics, Engineering and Technology (CRESMET), and an evaluator for several NSF projects. His first research strand concentrates on the relationship between educational policy and STEM education. His second research strand focuses on studying STEM classroom interactions and subsequent effects on student understanding. He is a co-developer of the Reformed Teaching Observation Protocol (RTOP) and his work has been cited more than 2200 times and he has been published in multiple peer-reviewed journals such as Science Education and the Journal of Research in Science Teaching.

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Stephen J. Krause Arizona State University

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Stephen Krause is professor in the Materials Science Program in the Fulton School of Engineering at Arizona State University. He teaches in the areas of introductory materials engineering, polymers and composites, and capstone design. His research interests include evaluating conceptual knowledge, misconceptions and technologies to promote conceptual change. He has co-developed a Materials Concept Inventory and a Chemistry Concept Inventory for assessing conceptual knowledge and change for introductory materials science and chemistry classes. He is currently conducting research on NSF projects in two areas. One is studying how strategies of engagement and feedback with support from internet tools and resources affect conceptual change and associated impact on students' attitude, achievement, and persistence. The other is on the factors that promote persistence and success in retention of undergraduate students in engineering. He was a coauthor for best paper award in the Journal of Engineering Education in 2013.

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Robert J. Culbertson Arizona State University

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Robert J. Culbertson is an Associate Professor of Physics. Currently, he teaches introductory mechanics and electrodynamics for physics majors and a course in musical acoustics, which was specifically designed for elementary education majors. He is director of the ASU Physics Teacher Education Coalition (PhysTEC) Project, which strives to produce more and better high school physics teachers. He is also director of Master of Natural Science degree program, a graduate program designed for in-service science teachers. He works on improving persistence of students in STEM majors, especially under-prepared students and students from under-represented groups.

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Keith D. Hjelmstad Arizona State University

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Keith D. Hjelmstad is Professor of Civil Engineering in the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment at Arizona State University.

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Lindy Hamilton Mayled Arizona State University

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Lindy Hamilton Mayled is a PhD candidate at Grand Canyon University. She is pursuing her PhD in Psychology of Learning, Education, and Technology. Her background in in K-12 education where she has served as a high school science teacher, Instructional and Curriculum Coach, and Assistant Principal. Her research and areas of interest are in improving STEM educational outcomes for Low-SES students through the integration of active learning and technology-enabled frequent feedback. She currently works as the Project Manager for the NSF faculty development program based on evidence-based teaching practices.

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Lydia Ross Arizona State University

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Lydia Ross is a doctoral candidate and graduate research assistant at Arizona State University. She is a third year student in the Educational Policy and Evaluation program. Her research interests focus on higher education equity and access, particularly within STEM.

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Kara L. Hjelmstad Arizona State University

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Kara Hjelmstad is a faculty associate in Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University.

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Ying-Chih Chen Arizona State University

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Ying-Chih Chen is an assistant professor in the Division of Teacher Preparation at Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College at Arizona State University in Tempe, Arizona.

His research takes two distinct but interrelated paths focused on elementary students’ learning in science and engineering as well as in-service science teachers’ professional development. The first focus involves how language as a learning tool improves students’ conceptual understandings, literacy, and representation competencies in science. His second research focus is on how in-service teachers develop their knowledge for teaching science and engineering in argument-based inquiry classrooms. This research is aimed at developing measures of teachers’ Pedagogical Content Knowledge (PCK) for adopting the argument-based inquiry approach, as well as developing tools to capture the interactive nature of PCK.

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Abstract

This study reports on a follow-up administration of a multi-wave Social Network Analysis (SNA) of faculty engaged in teaching courses in the first two years of undergraduate engineering programs at a major research university. The research question under investigation was: How can a university exploit the social networks of faculty teaching first-year engineers to create impactful professional development program?

In an earlier paper (author reference) we reported on the results of a large scale SNA involving 81 faculty participants from Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, and Teacher Education departments, and from six other departments in the College of Engineering. That study showed that number of connections a particular faculty member had (in particular indegree, the extent to which faculty members are seen as sources of information and support) was positively related to more positive learner-centered attitudes, and practices as measured by the Attitudes Toward Engineering scale and the Reformed Teaching Observation Protocol, respectively. There were significant differences in the extent and connectedness of faculty across departments, reflecting departmental instructional climate. In this follow-up, we examine the social networks of faculty, many of whom were not included in the original sample, who were recruited to participate in a 1-year series of workshops on learner-centered pedagogy, active learning methods, and use of advanced instructional technology and assessment. Twenty faculty were recruited participated in eight professional development workshops (approximately one every two weeks). In between workshops, faculty were asked to implement one or two new teaching practices and reflect on their efficacy. Faculty were provided time to reflect with each other, share their experiences, and get assistance from experienced educators.

Results show that, like the original sample, faculty were very isolated. Both in-degree and out-degree averaged less than 3 connections, though there was departmental variability. In particular, new faculty, on the tenure-track showed extreme isolation with respect to colleagues to whom they interacted with significantly regarding improving their instruction. Current data show that the social networks for faculty, when the University incentivizes and structures professional development, grow both within and across departments. Moreover, the participation in professional development, and reflection with colleagues positively influenced faculty implement learner-centered pedagogy resulting in higher scores on the ATI and RTOP.

We discuss these results in light of recent information showing that developing communities of practice in early engineering programs is critical for professional development to result in sustained practical change.

Middleton, J. A., & Judson, E., & Krause, S. J., & Culbertson, R. J., & Hjelmstad, K. D., & Mayled, L. H., & Ross, L., & Hjelmstad, K. L., & Chen, Y. (2018, June), Social Network Analysis of Faculty Connections in a Multi-year Professional Development Program Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/30971

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