Thematic Symposia

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Morning Symposia (8:00am - 9:30am)

Embedded expert models: Implementing change initiatives which support departments from within

Stephanie Chasteen, University of Colorado at Boulder
Andrea Greenhoot, University of Kansas Main Campus
Carolyn Aslan, Cornell University-Endowed Colleges
Sarah Bean Sherman, University of British Columbia
Thematic Symposium
Thursday, April 4 | 8:00am - 9:30am | Waterfront
Educational change efforts focused at the department level can be particularly powerful. This session will focus on the use of discipline-based educational experts (DBESs) embedded directly within departments as catalysts of change. As demonstrated in the Science Education Initiatives (SEIs) designed by Carl Wieman, such programs can be successful, but positive outcomes are not automatic. This symposium will bring together leaders of SEI-like initiatives for the first time, presenting lessons-learned and experiences on several campuses. This session will be focused on advice for leaders of such initiatives, or campuses, or departments engaged in such initiatives. We will provide recommendations for structuring programs like the SEI, including training and supporting DBESs, engaging faculty and departments in the initiative, and assessing impact. Advice for structuring programs like the SEI are now available through Wieman (2017), and the new free, open-source SEI Handbook, at https://pressbooks.bccampus.ca/seihandbook/. Attendees will have an opportunity to win a printed copy of the handbook.

The REFLECT Project: Spreading Evidence-Based Teaching in STEM

Stephanie Salomone, University of Portland
Heather Dillon, University of Portland
Eric Anctil, University of Portland
Valerie Peterson, University of Portland
Carolyn James, University of Portland
Tara Prestholdt, University of Portland

Thematic Symposium
Thursday, April 4 | 8:00am - 9:30am | Brighton 1/2
This interactive session explores how REFELCT, an NSF-funded project underway at XXXX University, is shifting teaching culture toward the adoption of evidence-based practices. This interactive session includes participant engagement in instructional change activities. In addition, we will explore what our grant team has learned about motivating and supporting teacher change, reshaping institutional culture, leveraging internal resources, and utilizing external partners. We share a model for effecting widespread adoption of evidence-based instructional practices and changing campus culture that could be used at similar regional comprehensive universities.

Sustaining Institutional Change for Inclusive Excellence

Jill Sible, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State Univ
Jeremy Wojdak, Radford University
Laura Gough, Towson University
Patrice Moss, Trinity Washington University
Najla Mouchrek, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State Univ

Thematic Symposium
Thursday, April 4 | 8:00am - 9:30am | Brighton 3/4
Inclusive Excellence as a concept unifies our best aspirations for equitable student success in higher education, evidence-based pedagogical reform, and the value of a diverse and diversely educated populace. Moving away from a student-deficit model is a tremendous shift in mindset and in allocation of responsibility, and will require commitment and action at all levels of an institution. Creating inclusive programs that support the success of all students will challenge faculty and departments to engage in critical self-reflection, and commit to changes in attitudes, habits, and practices. Concurrently, university administration must also examine institutional policies and practices from a new perspective and commit to providing true recognition, advocacy, and resources for this faculty work without dictating top-down solutions. The work of inclusion can succeed when bridges are built across the faculty and administration. This effort is further empowered when the network is extended across multiple institutions, drawing from a larger set of ideas and tapping into disciplinary culture beyond institutional bounds. In this symposium, representatives of four institutions awarded Howard Hughes Medical Institute Inclusive Excellence grants will offer case studies of what has worked (and what has not) to create more inclusive student programs. They will also share mechanisms of support that fostered collaboration across universities. Then, symposium attendees will engage in a guided participatory design activity to map opportunities for cultivating sustained changes that promote inclusion and student success at their home institutions.

Transforming STEM education using a multipronged systems approach and High Impact Practices (HIPs)

Allison D'Costa, Georgia Gwinnett College
Cindy Achat-Mendes, Georgia Gwinnett College
Judy Awong-Taylor, Georgia Gwinnett College
Tirza Leader, Georgia Gwinnett College
Clay Runck, Georgia Gwinnett College
Chantelle Anfuso, Georgia Gwinnett College
David Pursell, Georgia Gwinnett College
Thomas Mundie, Georgia Gwinnett College

Thematic Symposium
Thursday, April 4 | 8:00am - 9:30am | Woodlawn I

Georgia Gwinnett College (GGC) is an open access institution that attracts a highly diverse population of students, including many from groups traditionally underrepresented in STEM education. To address the needs of our student population, we developed a comprehensive systems approach model that aims to transform STEM learning and student engagement by incorporating high-impact practices (HIPs), including Course-embedded Undergraduate Research Experiences (CUREs), faculty learning communities, and first-year experiences. Our systems approach includes three interconnected levels: (1) a macro level that focuses on the Institution's objective to increase enrollment, persistence, and retention rates of under-represented, under-prepared students in STEM fields; (2) a meso level that addresses curriculum reform to provide a rigorous research-based curricula that focuses on scaffolding and building STEM skills by exposing students to multiple research and creative experiences during all four years of matriculation (via CUREs); and (3) a micro level focused on faculty development (through learning communities) and student engagement and learning (via first-year experiences – i.e. Peer Supplemental Instruction, PSI). Each level requires important resources for institutional reform to occur. Additionally, continuous interactions occur between the levels, including ongoing formative assessments that drive institutional change. Although our project utilizes the extensive research base of 'best' practices, our application of these practices is innovative due to the effort to promote systemic change at an institutional level. Preliminary assessment indicates that our model improves teaching and student engagement, as evidenced by: (1) improved student GPA; (2) increased STEM retention and progression rates, especially for minority and under-represented groups; and (3) improved student attitudes about STEM. We are currently conducting a rigorous longitudinal research study on the efficacy of this systems approach model. Our session will discuss the impact of the above HIPs on various levels of the system approach model, as well as the successes and challenges we have encountered.

Enhancing research capacity for systemic change in undergraduate STEM education by analyzing, organizing, and synthesizing theories of change

Tessa Andrews, University of Georgia
Daniel Reinholz, San Diego State University

Thematic Symposium
Thursday, April 4 | 8:00am - 9:30am | Fountainview

Widespread calls and national funding for improving the diversity and preparation of STEM undergraduates have rapidly expanded the number of people investigating change in this context. This creates great potential for generating and refining knowledge about transforming undergraduate teaching and learning in STEM. However, important barriers exist to building robust and foundational knowledge about transforming undergraduate STEM education. First, there are numerous theories of change potentially relevant to the transformation of undergraduate STEM education, but determining what theoretical framework(s) best inform a project is challenging. Relevant theories come from diverse areas, including organizational psychology, higher education, health sciences, and business management. The complexity and breadth of this literature makes identifying and understanding relevant theories challenging. Thus, there is an urgent need for a rigorous, analytical synthesis of relevant theories of change. Meeting this need will enable researchers and practitioners to choose productive theories to guide their work, ultimately improving the educational impact of change initiatives. Second, most investigations of change in undergraduate STEM education focus on a single initiative. Consequently, many investigations must be compared to make generalizations about what promotes change. These comparisons would be facilitated if researchers investigated common factors and used compatible theoretical perspectives. Our team is beginning to address these challenges by bringing together emerging scholars studying systemic change in undergraduate education across STEM disciplines. We will convene a working meeting to compare, organize, and synthesize relevant theoretical frameworks in early February 2019. A key outcome of this meeting will be an organizing framework of change theories designed for researchers. In this 90-minute thematic symposium, participants of this working meeting will present the organizing framework. We will engage the audience in making sense of and refining the organizing framework to maximize its relevance and utility.

Late Morning Symposia (10:00am - 11:30am)

Towards Servingness: Transforming STEM Education at Hispanic Serving Institutions

Vignesh Subbian, The University of Arizona
Guadalupe Lozano, The University of Arizona
Marla A. Franco, The University of Arizona

Thematic Symposium
Thursday, April 4 | 10:00am - 11:30am | Brighton 3/4

The number of higher education institutions earning the designation of Hispanic Serving Institution (HSI) has more than doubled between 2005 and 2018, and accounts for 15% of all non-profit, degree granting institutions. Starting 2017, in response to two Congressional Acts, the National Science Foundation (NSF) funded a total of 11 national conferences to inform the design of their new HSI Program. The University of Arizona, one of first conference awardees, held a working conference that brought together over 100 faculty, students, and administrators from 42 Southwestern HSIs, including 37 HSIs and five emerging HSIs, to identify gaps, opportunities, and key recommendations for transforming STEM education at HSIs.
This thematic symposium on HSIs will highlight six major themes, encompassing 13 critical focus areas, that emerged from our analyses of the conference transcripts. The major themes are as follows: (1) advising, mentoring, and non-academic support systems, (2) STEM academic structure and related support systems, (3) evidence based pedagogies, (4) equity, diversity, and culturally responsive practices, (5) research experiences and high impact practices, and (6) serving Hispanic students at HSIs. Each focus area includes one or more sets of recommendations for ensuring inclusive support systems for undergraduate students at HSIs and emerging HSIs. Symposium participants will be provided with an overview of these recommendations, along with relevant rationale and examples, and guided through conversations around how to enable change at HSIs, particularly new and emerging HSIs, as they seek to strengthen the equity or "servingness" mindset at their respective campuses. Finally, participants will identify opportunities to engage with one or more of the ASCN working groups as well as the STEM in HSI working group at the University of Arizona to initiate collaborative work that raises institutional awareness of what it means to serve undergraduate STEM students at new and emerging HSIs.

Early Afternoon Symposia (1:15pm - 2:45pm)

Transforming the Teaching of Thousands: Promoting Evidence-based Practices at Scale

Kay Halasek, Ohio State University-Main Campus
Andrew Heckler, Ohio State University-Main Campus
Melinda Rhodes-DiSalvo, Ohio State University-Main Campus

Thematic Symposium
Thursday, April 4 | 1:15pm - 2:45pm | Brighton 1/2

What happens when a Research I university president charges a group of faculty thought leaders with questioning the standard paradigm of instruction and envisioning a system that more effectively promotes continual improvements in teaching and learning?
In 2016, this extraordinary scenario began at our institution. Since then we have engaged our colleagues from across the university in envisioning an enterprise-wide program of continued professional learning for student success. We are now moving from developing and implementing into the next stages of examining and demonstrating the impact of this transformational process and institutional change. The goals of this symposium are to present and reflect upon findings, share our current vision and challenging questions, and provide an opportunity for attendees to reflect on and discuss how our efforts may relate to their own institutions.
Several critical principles inform our work, most specifically that faculty must be actively engaged in the process of and recognized for their own continued professional learning and contributions to institutional transformation. This "activism" occurs as faculty challenge traditional instructional practices, learn about and implement effective practices, engage in research in teaching and learning, redesign departmental- or college-level policies on evaluation of and rewards for teaching, and engage in communities of practice for continued professional development.
This symposium will outline the 1) establishment of the faculty-led institute for teaching and learning with goals that extend beyond traditional teaching centers to include policy, research, and engagement with non-profit and government agencies; 2) creation of faculty mentoring and new faculty programs; and 3) launch of a university-wide professional learning program that includes salary incentives for all faculty who complete the three-tier program: a self-assessment, institute-developed online course on effective teaching, and instructional redesign for learning. We will also present data and insights gained from over 2000 faculty engagements in these programs.

Bringing an asset-based community development framework to university change work

Stephen Biscotte, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State Univ
Najla Mouchrek, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State Univ

Thematic Symposium
Thursday, April 4 | 1:15pm - 2:45pm | Waterfront

In higher education, the impetus for change is often the identification of a specific need, problem-area, or under-performance. For example, the institution recognizes that their female retention rates in STEM are too low, minority students appear underprepared for the rigors of calculus, and/or instructors lack pedagogical content knowledge to effectively teach large introductory courses. Interventions are designed and implemented to target these perceived deficits. However, what if instead of focusing solely on fixing the 'deficits' (which are often human people), we also focus on growing, celebrating, and leveraging the strengths of the community involved? In this interactive session, the facilitators challenge attendees to consider taking a strengths-based mindset to higher education change and offer the tools to pursue such an endeavor on their own campuses.
This symposium is divided into three parts: 1) a 20-minute introduction of the ABCD framework, 2) a 40-minute partner discussion activity, and 3) a 30-minute individual reflection to group sharing exercise. Attendees will first be introduced to the concept of Asset-Based Community Development (ABCD) as a potential framework for institutional change in undergraduate education. Presenters will offer an overview of the model and its components, examples from the community development literature, and highlights of its implementation in our own university-level undergraduate general education curriculum reform efforts. Next, presenters will set up a space for discussion and interaction in contrasting deficit-focused problem-solving mindset with the more strengths-based community building framework mindset as a means of achieving broader institutional change goals. Finally, attendees will be guided through a tool to planning change initiatives applying the framework to meet their own institutional goals for STEM reform. Participants can leave with both a new mindset toward institutional change and a framework for action upon returning to campus.

National Academies' Roundtable on Systemic Change in Undergraduate STEM Education: Directions and Opportunities

Ann Austin, Michigan State University
Mark Rosenberg, Florida International University
Kerry Brenner, National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine
Susan Singer, Rollins College
Noah Finkelstein, University of Colorado at Boulder

Thematic Symposium
Thursday, April 4 | 1:15pm - 2:45pm | Fountainview

The National Academies for Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine has initiated a multi-year Roundtable on Systemic Reform in Undergraduate STEM Education to focus on the future of undergraduate STEM education and help drive a national effort on how best to educate learners to be informed members of society and/or participate in the future STEM workforce. The work of the roundtable recognizes and responds to the rapidly changing social and economic environment, including dramatic shifts in student demographics, modes of learning, technology, STEM knowledge, commitments to equity and inclusion, and how we think about work. The Roundtable's work in advancing systemic reform in undergraduate STEM education focuses on framing issues and opportunities, and identifying, drawing upon, and connecting existing efforts in order to help the community as a whole identify gaps and build momentum for action by stakeholders. Specifically, the Roundtable is identifying the key levers, drivers, and disruptors in the higher education system where actions can have the most impact.
Key partners in the work of the Roundtable include faculty, students, department chairs, campus leaders, campus administrators, university systems administrators, education researchers, funders, professional societies in the STEM disciplines, associations of colleges and universities, STEM employers, policy makers, influencers, and the general public.
This symposium has four goals: (1) to introduce the purpose of the Roundtable and provide an overview of the first year of its work; (2) to share highlights of the Roundtable's analysis of current challenges, gaps, and opportunities pertaining to systemic change efforts in undergraduate STEM education; (3) to overview potential strategies and interventions identified by the Roundtable as opportunities for significant impact toward transformative change; and (4) to engage attendees in discussion and possible collaboration with the work of the Roundtable.

Late Afternoon Symposia (3:30pm - 5:00pm)

Improving Learning by Transforming the Evaluation of Teaching: Resources, Challenges, and Change Processes

Gabriela Weaver, University of Massachusetts-Amherst
Andrea Greenhoot, University of Kansas Main Campus
Noah Finkelstein, University of Colorado at Boulder

Thematic Symposium
Thursday, April 4 | 3:30pm - 5:00pm | Waterfront

Promoting widespread use of evidence-based educational practices (EBEPs) is an important and continuing challenge across higher education institutions. Achieving significant change in teaching and learning requires cultural transformation, and a key lever in such transformation is the development, adoption, and sustainable use of new approaches to supporting and evaluating teaching aligned with research on teaching and learning. The extensive reliance on student ratings as the primary strategy for evaluating teaching raises serious questions about the validity and reliability of these approaches, as well as concerns about how such approaches many have discriminatory implications. In contrast, building reliable approaches to teaching evaluation that recognize the multiple dimensions of teaching, involve multiple sources of evidence, and are aligned with what is known about teaching and learning can help the adoption and effective use of EBEPs. An increasing number of universities are interested in such new approaches to evaluating teaching that will encourage evidence-based teaching and contribute to departmental and institutional cultures that more fully value and reward teaching excellence and support effective learning.

In support of the growing interest in new approaches to teaching evaluation, this symposium accomplishes three goals: (1) discusses the key guiding elements and processes in a framework and rubric that approaches teaching evaluation with attention to the multiple dimensions of teaching, the use of multiple sources of data, and the relevance of both formative and evaluation outcomes; (2) provides case studies of three research-extensive institutions engaged in transformative change in teaching evaluation, using this framework; (3) highlights key aspects of systems approaches to institutional change to introduce and implement a more comprehensive approach to teaching evaluation; and (4) provides opportunity for audience questions and discussion about new approaches to teaching evaluation and strategies to bring these to fruition in wide-spread fashion.


Building and Facilitating a Multi-Institutional Collaboration to Support Systemic Change: Insights from the Next Generation of STEM Teacher Preparation Programs in Washington State

Edward Geary, Western Washington University
Ann McMahon, University of Washington-Tacoma Campus
Roxane Ronca, Western Washington University

Thematic Symposium
Thursday, April 4 | 3:30pm - 5:00pm | Brighton 3/4

Washington State is an NGSS and CCSS adoption state. Consequently, every Science and Mathematics Teacher Preparation program needs to make changes to prepare future teachers to be NGSS and/or CCSS ready when they graduate and enter K-12 classrooms. Typically, making such changes would be done in relative isolation, program-by-program, and institution-by-institution. However, with funding from the National Science Foundation we have brought together over 100 STEM experts from across the state (K-12, Higher Ed, Business, Government, and Community) to collaboratively produce innovations that will have Collective Impact (Kania and Kramer, 2011). Our goal is to improve the preparation of future STEM teachers and teachers of STEM throughout Washington State. We are also collaborating with other organizations to promote the recruitment, preparation, and retention of a diverse STEM teaching workforce where every student sees a pathway to becoming a STEM teacher. Anticipated outcomes of this session include enhanced understanding of collaborative models for change, identification of drivers and tools to promote change, adapting models to different institutional cultures and contexts, and the benefits of incorporating a diversity focus in undergraduate STEM education change work.

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