Mentoring Faculty Course Reform Teams to Disseminate Evidence-based Reforms and Engage Departments

Thursday 10:00am - 10:30am Brighton 1/2
Oral Presentation

Andrew Feig, Wayne State University
Sara Kacin, Wayne State University
One of the greatest challenges with implementing evidence-based reforms of STEM teaching is engaging research-focused tenure-track faculty. In many cases, these faculty need the right mix of incentives and mentoring to support adoption of student-centered pedagogies. For many faculty, it is an issue of identity and the perception that they may lose status as researchers by being perceived as too interested in teaching. The Student Success through Evidence-based Pedagogies (SSTEPs) Program was conceived to study this issue and develop interventions to help faculty adopt student-centered teaching approaches. At the center of this program are the SSTEP-Fellows. Teams of Fellows are chosen based on faculty-proposed, 2-year projects that seek to address departmental and programmatic needs. Fellows receive stipends, assistance by a STEM instructional designer, and support from a community of practice to plan, implement and revise their projects. Faculty develop assessment plans to gain skill in collecting and analyzing data on student learning and then become change agents within their departments to sustain and institutionalize the pedagogical changes. In addition to monitoring the specific reform projects through course observations (COPUS) and formative assessments (MAPs), campus-wide surveys follow the impact of the changes along several vectors including attitudes toward teaching, knowledge of evidence-based teaching methods, and an inventory of instructional practices used by faculty. Whereas some teams were highly successful, other projects led to more modest impacts on both faculty practices and departmental attitudes. We will compare the project teams and provide insights into the characteristics of those teams that were more likely to provide sustainable changes to both the faculty fellows and their respective departments.