Forum on Characterizing the Impact and Diffusion of Transformative Engineering Education Innovations

Forum on the Impact and Diffusion of Transformative Engineering Education Innovations

Forum on Characterizing the Impact and Diffusion of

Transformative Engineering Education Innovations

February 7-8, 2011
New Orleans, LA

Hosted by: Center for the Advancement of Scholarship on Engineering Education of the National Academy of Engineering

Sponsored by: National Science Foundation via grant DUE-1059125

General Chair: Ann McKenna, Arizona State University

Final Forum Paper

Colleagues' Review of Final Forum Paper: Gary Lichtenstein, Quality Evaluation Designs

 

Breakout Chairs:

 

Jeffrey Froyd, Texas A&M University

C. Judson King, University of California - Berkeley

Thomas Litzinger, The Pennsylvania State University

Elaine Seymour, University of Colorado - Boulder (retired)

 

 

Commissioned Paper Authors:

 

Jeffrey Froyd, Texas A&M University

Charles R. Henderson and Melissa Dancy, Western Michigan University

Lisa Lattuca, The Pennsylvania State University

Elaine Seymour, University of Colorado - Boulder (retired), Kris De Welde and Catherine Fry

External Evaluator: Gary Lichtenstein, Quality Evaluation Designs

 

SAMPLE INNOVATIONS POLLING RESULTS (recall that a panel of eight experts had pre-identified instructional activities that might be judged innovative and highly diffused, these candidates were then voted on by Forum attendees)

Results are shown graphically here.

The candidate instructional activities  judged to be most innovative and most highly diffused were

CBL =    Challenge/Problem/Question/Context-based Learning (curricular, co-curricular, and non-curricular) including + case-based learning (including cases in failure, ethics, etc.)  + project/service learning including EPICS, EWB, ESW, etc. +  engineering design courses and clinics, particularly when they include lower-level students
SCBL =    Student Cohort-based Learning (e.g., learning communities) often with other innovations
CL =    Cooperative/Team-based Learning
FA =    Use of Formative Assessment tied to Course Objectives including + minute papers,  + concept inventories + personal response systems—clickers,  + question driven instruction

The candidate instructional activities judged to be less innovative and less diffused were

ETH =    Engineering Ethics courses and modules, particularly when earlier in the curriculum
SVS =    Spatial Visualization Skills courses
ITS =    Integrated theory, skills, and practice spaces (e.g., Learning Factory, Ideas to Innovation Lab, etc.)
IME =    Introductory Mathematics for Engineering Applications
STT =    Systematic topical spine/thread/context learning throughout undergraduate curriculum
ENTR =    Engineering Entrepreneurship courses

The candidate instructional activity judged highly innovative but not well diffused was

HIASS = Holistic Integration of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences into Engineering Curricula spanning programs to make engineers better writers to programs leading to the bachelor of arts in engineering

 

Optional Background Reading

 

  1. AAC&U study of faculty curricular innovation (across disciplines -- November 2010)
  2. Montfort, Brown, and Pegg on adoption of a new assessment instrument (from FIE 2009)
  3. Silva and Sheppard on enabling and sustaining educational innovation (from ASEE 2001)
  4. Ehrmann et al. on factors affecting adoption of faculty software developments (from FIE 2007)
  5. Lachiver and Tardiff on fostering and managing curricular change and innovation (from FIE 2002)
  6. Borrego et al. on effectiveness of coalitions especially section by Lattuca, Terrenzine, and Harper on engineering change study (from FIE 2007)

 

Initial Agenda

Monday, February 7, 2011

7 am -- Breakfast

8 am -- Welcome, Introductions, and Charge from General Chair

 

Paper illustrating Russ Pimmel's point that instructional methods have not changed much despite the prior investment of funds and effort in developing and disseminating student-focused approaches that engage students in the learning process.

9 am - Noon -- 4 Breakouts (2 for Question 1 and 2 for Question 2)

Noon - 2 pm -- Working Lunch

2 pm - 3 pm -- Mini-plenaries (1 each for Question 1 and Question 2)

3 pm to 7 pm -- 2 Breakouts (1 each for Question 1 and Question 2) -- includes working dinner

 

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

7 am -- Breakfast

8 am --Plenary (presentations of synthesis of answers for Questions 1 and 2)

 

Jud King presentation on behalf of Innovation Group

Tom Litzinger presentation on behalf of Innovation Group

Innovation Group case study

Elaine Seymour and Lisa Lattuca Presentation on behalf of Diffusion Group

10 am - Noon -- Refinement of Answers to Questions 1 and 2 based on questions and feedback

 

Ad hoc Vision group summary product

Ad hoc Research group intermediate product and summary product.

Ad hoc Strategies group - awaiting product

Noon -- 2 pm -- Working lunch

2 pm -- Adjourn

 

Agenda Book (with attendee bios)

 

Travel Guidance: document

 

 

Background

We held an invitational one and one-half day forum in February 2011.  The thirty-six attendees and five invited observers were broadly representative of diverse individual and institutional perspectives and constituencies in engineering education including former NSF rotators, engineering educators, social science and education researchers, administrators, program evaluation experts, and change management scholars. 


Drawing on comparisons of successful and less successful examples of transformative educational innovations and their diffusion (dissemination and use), as well as commissioned white papers, attendees sought to answer the following questions:

1.    What local, regional, or national examples exist of successful transformative educational innovations and what examples exist of less successful transformative educational innovations?
a.    Comparing the successful and less successful innovations, what were the critical (human, organizational, resource, etc.) factors that led to success?
b.    What intermediate metrics provide indication of short-, mid-, and long-range success (educational impact)?
c.    From examination of the examples, what broad strategies emerge by which to pursue transformative educational innovations?

2.    What subset of the innovations examined in answer to Question 1 above attempted diffusion (dissemination and entry into broad use)?
a.    Comparing the successful and less successful diffusion efforts, what were the critical (human, organizational, resource, etc.) factors that led to successful diffusion?
b.    What intermediate metrics provide indication of short-, medium, and long-range success in diffusion?
c.    From examination of the examples, what broad strategies emerge by which to diffuse transformative educational innovations?

Attendees were split into four breakout groups (two each looking at innovation and two each looking at diffusion), the general chair and the breakout group chairs summarized the forum discussion in a final paper suitable for publication in a journal or presentation at a conference.    The forum background papers and outputs will be posted to a project web site and a summary of key observations will be compiled in a PDF sent to all TUES grantees via email.