A Social Network Analysis of Engineering Faculty Connections: Their Impact on Faculty Student‐Centered Attitudes and Practices

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Connections among faculty who might be potential resources for diffusion of learner‐cen-tered practices across STEM departments were examined at a major research university. Specifically, the research assessed the impact of these connections on learner‐centered beliefs among faculty and the implementation of learner‐centered practices across the network. Participants were recruited from Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics departments, and from departments in the College of Engineering. A snowball sampling procedure began with 21 randomly selected faculty from each department engaged in the STEM instruction of engineering students. These faculties then identified the colleagues they utilize as resources for improving their instruction. Characteristics of faculty connectedness in the network consisted of number of connections and depth of connections for both individual faculty and within and across departments. Outcome measures consisted of a survey of learner‐centered attitudes and classroom observations of faculty instructional practices. The results show that faculty exhibiting more learner‐centered behaviors had deeper and more exten-sive social networks than their peers who were more instructor‐centered. The results are discussed in terms of the need for intra‐ and inter‐departmental faculty professional development experiences that build and support collaborative organizations of faculty working together to transform early engineering experiences.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number108
JournalEducation Sciences
Volume12
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 2022

Keywords

  • Attitudes
  • Faculty development
  • First‐year programs
  • Social network analysis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Computer Science(all)
  • Education
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Public Administration
  • Computer Science Applications

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