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Studying Organizational Change: Rigorous Attention To Complex Systems Via A Multi-theoretical Research Model

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Conference

2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016

ISBN

978-0-692-68565-5

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Faculty Development II: Building Community Among STEM Educators

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Page Count

26

DOI

10.18260/p.25945

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/25945

Download Count

152

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Paper Authors

biography

Jana Bouwma-Gearhart Oregon State University

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Jana L. Bouwma-Gearhart is an associate professor of STEM education at Oregon State University. Her research widely concerns improving education at research universities. Her earlier research explored enhancements to faculty motivation to improve undergraduate education. Her more recent research concerns organizational change towards postsecondary STEM education improvement at research universities, including the interactions of levers (people, organizations, policy, initiatives) of change and documenting the good, hard work required across disciplinary boundaries to achieve meaningful change in STEM education.

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Ann Sitomer Oregon State University

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Ann earned a PhD in mathematics education from Portland State University in 2014. Her dissertation examined the informal ways of reasoning about ratio, rate and proportion that adult returning students bring to an arithmetic review class and how these ways of thinking interacted with the curriculum. Other research interests include teachers’ professional noticing of learners’ mathematical thinking and organizational change. Ann works on both the implementation and research sides of the ESTEME@OSU project.

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Kathleen Quardokus Fisher Oregon State University

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Dr. Kathleen Quardokus Fisher is a postdoctoral scholar at Oregon State University. She is currently participating in a project that supports the use of evidence-based instructional practices in undergraduate STEM courses through developing communities of practice. Her research interests focus on understanding how organizational change occurs in higher education with respect to teaching and learning in STEM courses.

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Christina Smith Oregon State University

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Christina Smith is a graduate student in the School of Chemical, Biological, and Environmental Engineering at Oregon State University. She received her B.S. from the University of Utah in chemical engineering and is pursuing her Ph.D. also in chemical engineering with an emphasis on engineering education. Her research focuses on how the beliefs of graduate students around teaching and learning interact with and influence the environments in which they are asked to teach.

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Milo Koretsky Oregon State University

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Milo Koretsky is a Professor of Chemical Engineering at Oregon State University. He received his B.S. and M.S. degrees from UC San Diego and his Ph.D. from UC Berkeley, all in Chemical Engineering. He currently has research activity in areas related engineering education and is interested in integrating technology into effective educational practices and in promoting the use of higher-level cognitive skills in engineering problem solving. His research interests particularly focus on what prevents students from being able to integrate and extend the knowledge developed in specific courses in the core curriculum to the more complex, authentic problems and projects they face as professionals. Dr. Koretsky is one of the founding members of the Center for Lifelong STEM Education Research at OSU.

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Abstract

The purpose of this paper is two-fold. First, we identify the need for a multi-theoretical research model that allows us to describe the potential for organizational change at the start of an educational change initiative in higher education. Second, we put forth our research model. To accomplish the first purpose, we set the stage for the literature review upon which our argument is grounded by describing educational change initiatives in higher education in general, the institutional context in which our particular change initiative is situated, and the theory of action that guides the intervention. Next, we discuss two bodies of research literature: (a) literature that describes the nature of institutions of higher education upon which we grounded our ontological perspective of these organizations, and (b) literature on organizational change that contributed to our epistemological perspective for researching an educational change initiative. We finish the review by considering the usefulness of a model grounded on several theories. To accomplish the second purpose, we put forth the research model, connecting the elements of the model to our ontological and epistemological perspectives. Our research model is based upon several theories and attends to the multi-dimensional, multi-level organizational phenomena and factors we believe to be important. We conclude the paper by describing our model’s usefulness by detailing some of the research methods we are using that allow exploration of pertinent phenomena. Finally, we reflect on the practicality of our research model towards informing and revising an intervention’s theory of action, as well as its feasibility for other efforts to improve and study related change in postsecondary education organizations.

Bouwma-Gearhart, J., & Sitomer, A., & Quardokus Fisher, K., & Smith, C., & Koretsky, M. (2016, June), Studying Organizational Change: Rigorous Attention To Complex Systems Via A Multi-theoretical Research Model Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.25945

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