The Change Maker's Toolkit: Preparing Faculty and Administrators to Make Academic Change Happen

Wednesday, May 16th

9:30 am PT | 10:30 am MT | 11:30 am CT | 12:30 pm ET

Presenter: Julia M. Williams (Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology)

Registration is closed.


Within the higher education community, there are repeated calls for changing the way we educate STEM students. These calls for change extend beyond the classroom experience to the curriculum, co-curricular experiences, and institutional levels. And yet, despite the development of research-based teaching strategies, innovative co-curricular projects, and many years of funding and development from a variety of foundations and corporations, change in STEM education is not pervasive. The lack of systemic change points to an important problem with the approach to change that the STEM education community has pursued thus far.

Change has been targeted at the course and curriculum levels, focusing on teaching and learning methods and proving their efficacy. These beneficial activities have not, however, fostered the necessary knowledge, skills, and abilities (KSAs) in motivation, communication, collaboration, and persuasion that are the foundation for change on larger, more institutional levels. These change strategies are well documented in the literature of other disciplines, such as organizational psychology and behavior, but have not been brought into the conversation within STEM education in a rigorous, accessible way. This presentation poses a central question: Can we overcome limits that prevent the diffusion of new ideas, can we overcome barriers to the adoption of effective practices, by focusing on the change agents themselves in terms of their skills and change expertise? The focus of this webinar is on the change maker's toolkit, the set of KSAs that can help change agents meet and conquer their change project challenges.

The concept of a change maker's toolkit derives in part from the ongoing work of the RED Participatory Action Research (REDPAR) project. Funded in conjunction with the NSF REvolutionizing engineering and computer science Departments (RED) Program, REDPAR targets RED teams that are made up of disciplinary experts in engineering, computer science, engineering education, and social science but who have not been equipped with the change maker tools that research suggests are essential for effective change management. Beginning in 2015, we have provided RED recipients the opportunity to learn and develop change KSAs through a customized change curriculum that has been delivered during the annual Kickoff Meetings of RED recipients. We have also followed the work of these agents, capturing their reflections on their efforts during focus group interviews. In addition, we have encouraged the development of a group identity as a RED cohort through monthly conference calls with the RED teams. The early results of the REDPAR work support our contention that faculty must be equipped with a "change-maker's toolkit" that supplements their disciplinary preparation and supports their efforts to make academic change on their campuses. Additional information about RED and REDPAR are available at


This webinar is designed for STEM faculty, disciplinary, and institutional change makers (e.g., department chairs, vice provosts, administrators, educational developers, faculty learning community facilitators, disciplinary association members and leaders). It may have particular interest for those who have attempted change and have not accomplished all that they planned to do.


As a result of this webinar, participants will be prepared to:

  • Understand the contents of the change maker's toolkit and see its application to change projects in STEM.
  • Reflect on their own change maker tools and consider development of tools that they do not currently possess or have not used effectively in the past.
  • Recognize the interrelations between research and practice in the derivation of the change maker's toolkit.


Registration is closed.

Time - 9:30 am PT | 10:30 am MT | 11:30 am CT | 12:30 pm ET
- 60 minutes
Format - Online web presentation via Zoom web meeting software with questions and discussion. Go to the webinar technology page for more information on using Zoom. Detailed instructions for joining the webinar will be emailed to registered participants one day prior to the webinar.
Preparation - There is no advance preparation required for this webinar.

Please email Mitchell Awalt ( if you have any technical questions about this event.


Julia Williams
Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology
Julia M. Williams joined the faculty of the Humanities and Social Sciences Department at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology in 1992, then assumed duties as Executive Director of the Office of Institutional Research, Planning, and Assessment in 2005. In 2016, she was appointed Interim Dean of Cross-Cutting Programs and Emerging Opportunities. In this role, she supports the work of faculty who create multi-disciplinary learning opportunities for Rose-Hulman students. Throughout her career at Rose-Hulman, she has blended her work in the classroom with work in assessment, and her published articles have appears in the Journal of Engineering Education, the International Journal of Engineering Education, IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication, and the Technical Communication Quarterly. She is recipient of awards from the American Society for Engineering Education, the IEEE Professional Communication Society, and Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.


Change Maker's Toolkit Webinar Slides (PowerPoint 2007 (.pptx) 16.8MB May14 18)

1) Welcome and introductory marks - Mitchell Awalt, Science Education Resource Center

2) Presentation - Julia M. Williams, Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

3) Q&A

4) Webinar Evaluation

Resources and References

Click to view the webinar screencast (MP4 Video 509.3MB May16 18).