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Your Instructional Change Experience

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  1. Your Instructional Change Experience • Reflect on your own experience to understand your audience and design a plan to ensure others will use your “stuff” • What motivates you to change can • Inspire the need for a project • Inspire the project transportability and institutionalization • Also inspires others to use your “stuff”

  2. Traditional Approach to STEM Educational Change • Develop and disseminate model • Transfer or transmission model • Developer (change agent) • Creates instructional materials and strategies • Significant effort • Research-based • Tries to convince other faculty to use them • Postings, presentations, publications (the 3 p’s) • Short, one-time workshops

  3. Underlying Assumptions of Develop-then-Disseminate Model • Two negative manifestations impede success: • An “us vs. them” attitude • Myth # 1 -- Developers think faculty are unaware and unwilling to change • Myth # 2 -- Faculty think developers are dogmatic and judgmental • Neglect of important local factors Dancy and Henderson, NRC Workshop Report, 2008

  4. Change Takes Time • Sequential change models • Pre-awareness – Willing to read a one-pager • Awareness – Willing to read longer summaries • Interest – Willing to read journal or conference publication • Search – Willing to attend a 2-4 hr workshop • Decision – Willing to attend a 1-2 day workshop • Action – Willing to implement • Trial period • Decision to continue or discard Rogers, Diffusion of Innovations, 1995 Froyd, FIE, 2001

  5. Change Takes Time • Faculty cannot be moved from Pre-awareness to Action with a single workshop • Change is not an event – it is a process Froyd, FIE, 2001


  6. A Better Approach • Matched to how faculty members actually change • Dancy and Henderson’s Rational Faculty Model • Provide easily modifiable material • Users will customize • Provide research ideas with material • Users understand the rationale • If not, risk inappropriate adaptation, e.g., clickers for attendance • Make it clear what aspects will transfer under what conditions • Identify critical elements • Recommend modification for different situations Dancy and Henderson, NRC Workshop Report, 2008

  7. Sustaining TUES Projects • Can’t transform undergraduate education if TUES projects are not sustained at the home institution after NSF funding ends • This process is called institutionalization “when an innovation or program is fully integrated into an organization’s structure” Curry, ASHE Report, 1992

  8. Activity Barriers to Institutionalization What are some common reasons an education project fails to be institutionalized after NSF funding ends? • Exercise ---- 6 min • Think individually -------- ~2 min • Share with a partner ----- ~2 min • Report in local group ---- ~2 min • Watch time and reconvene after 6 min • Use THINK time to think – no discussion, Selected local facilitators report to virtual group • With one minute warning, look at Chat Box to see if you will be asked for a response

  9. PDs’ Response Barriers to Institutionalization • Enthusiasm wanes after grant ends • Money unavailable for personnel, supplies, etc. • PI moves on • Other teaching assignments • Administrative responsibilities • Moves to another institution • Multiple/new instructors less comfortable with format • Specially trained TAs graduate • Technology changes (equipment outdated, new computers/software) • Budget cuts reduce offerings of elective courses • Changes to curriculum impact student demand • Administrators unaware or not convinced of value

  10. Institutionalization • Not just about money • Two aspects • Structural • policies, curriculum, teaching load/assignments • Cultural • becomes part of normal expectations of how we educate students (in topic X) • The most successful efforts address both structural and cultural

  11. Activity Institutionalization For an idea you are considering for a TUES proposal, what institutionalization strategies can you pursue that address structural and cultural aspects? • Exercise ---- 6 min • Think individually -------- ~2 min • Share with a partner ----- ~2 min • Report in local group ---- ~2 min • Watch time and reconvene after 6 min • Use THINK time to think – no discussion, Selected local facilitators report to virtual group • With one minute warning, look at Chat Box to see if you will be asked for a response

  12. PDs’ Response Institutionalization • State learning outcomes and align to curricula and values • Collect and distribute convincing evaluation data • Publicize successes to deans, chairs, faculty and teaching assistants • Discuss at faculty and curriculum committee meetings • Adapt it to work for all students, faculty, departments (as appropriate) • Recruit other faculty to learn about it and use it in their classes • Provide data, advice and moral support • Work to secure resources as needed: lab space, staff support • Work to integrate it into curricula (as appropriate) Handout 3