The Improving Student Experiences to Increase Student Engagement (ISE-2) grant was awarded to Texas A&M University by the National Science Foundation, through EEC-Engineering Diversity Activities (Grant No. 1648016) with the goal of increasing student engagement and retention in the College of Engineering. The major component of the intervention was a faculty development program aimed to increase active learning, improve classroom climates, and decrease implicit bias and deficit thinking. Faculty teaching first- and second-year Engineering courses participated in the ISE-2 faculty development program, with the first cohort (n = 10) in Summer 2017 and the second cohort (n = 5) in Summer 2018. This paper describes the content of each of these components of the faculty development program and provides access to a Google drive (still in development at the time of the abstract) with resources for others to use.
The faculty development program consisted of three workshops, a series of coffee hour conversations, and two deliverables from the participants (a teaching plan at the conclusion of the summer training and a final reflection a year following the training). Anchoring the program was a framework for teaching in a diverse classroom (Adams & Love, 2009). Workshop 1 (early May) consisted of an overview of the ISE-2 program. During the first workshop, faculty were introduced to social cognitive biases and the behaviors that result from these biases. During this workshop, the ISE-2 team shared findings from a climate study related to the classroom experiences of students at the College of Engineering. Workshop 2 (mid-May) focused on how undergraduate students learn, provided evidence for the effectiveness of active learning strategies, and exposed faculty participants to active learning strategies. Workshop 3 (early August) integrated the material from the first two workshops as faculty participants prepared to apply the material to their own teaching. Prior to each workshop, the faculty participants were provided with pre-workshop readings to familiarize them with some of the content matter. Coffee hour conversations—informal discussions between the participating faculty and the ISE-2 team centered around a teaching topic selected by participants—were conducted on a near-weekly basis between the second and third workshops. Handouts and worksheets were provided at each coffee hour and served to guide the coffee hour discussions. After the last workshop but before the Fall semester, faculty participants created a teaching plan to incorporate what they learned in the ISE-2 program into their own teaching. At the end of the academic year, the faculty participants are tasked with completing a final reflection on how ISE-2 has affected their teaching in the previous academic year.
In this paper, we will report the content of each of the three workshops and explain how these workshops are related to the overarching goals of the ISE-2 program. Then, we will discuss how each of the coffee hour conversation topics complement the material covered in the workshops. Lastly, we will explore the role of the teaching plans and final reflections in changing instructional practices for faculty.
Adams, M., & Love, B. J. (2009). A social justice education faculty development framework for a post-Grutter era. In K. Skubikowski, C. Wright, & R. Graf (Eds.), Social justice education: Inviting faculty to transform their institutions (pp. 3-25). Sterling, VA: Stylus.
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