Pursuing systemic change in undergraduate STEM education through Departmental and Leadership Teams for Action (DeLTA)

Thursday 10:30am - 11:00am Fountainview
Oral Presentation

Tessa Andrews, University of Georgia
Sarah Covert, University of Georgia
Erin Dolan, University of Georgia
Paula Lemons, University of Georgia
The DeLTA project aims to promote comprehensive change in thinking and culture related to undergraduate STEM education at the University of Georgia. Our approach is multi-level; we are convening and supporting the work of faculty, departmental leadership, and upper administrators. Faculty will work in Instructional Action Teams to expand the use of evidence-based teaching practices in introductory courses across STEM. Faculty in these teams will engage in long-term, collaborative teaching professional development. Department leaders will collaborate across units as a Leadership Action Team to develop and enact new ways of supporting, evaluating, incentivizing, and rewarding evidence-based teaching at the department level. Strategic Action Teams of administrators will work opportunistically to align university incentive structures with teaching reform. Our approach is informed by social cognition and cultural theories of change, while taking into account political, institutional, and scientific management theories of change. We are investigating the degree to which thinking and actions relevant to STEM education change over the course of the five-year initiative among faculty, departments, and administration. We are gathering multiple lines of evidence to examine patterns and drivers of change across levels. We will examine teacher thinking using interviews and surveys. We will study teacher practice using classroom observations and analysis of course-based assessments. We will examine shifts in thinking at the department level through interviews and surveys probing perceptions of departmental culture and practices. We will use artifact collection, participant observation, and interviews to document changes in practices, such as those related to hiring, tenure & promotion, and training and collaboration related to teaching. In this presentation, we will describe the initiative, relating specific components to theories of change and highlighting early successes and challenges. We will also discuss research we are conducting on the change process within this initiative and seek audience insights.