Incorporating faculty sense making in the implementation and modification of an instrument to measure social and cognitive engagement Conference

Ironside, AJ, Pitterson, NP, Brown, SA et al. (2017). Incorporating faculty sense making in the implementation and modification of an instrument to measure social and cognitive engagement . 2017-June

cited authors

  • Ironside, AJ; Pitterson, NP; Brown, SA; Fisher, KQ; Gestson, SL; Simmons, DR; Adesope, O


  • Background Over the last decade, numerous calls for change in the engineering curriculum and content delivery have been made. Following these recommendations, the field of engineering education saw research on the development and implementation of several learning innovation and instructional practices. However, while there has been extensive research examining barriers and affordances to the adoption of teaching practices and curriculum, much less work has been done on assessment instruments. In addition, research highlights there is generally resistance on the part of faculty members when it comes to adopting new practices. This resistance often stems from faculty feeling as though that their input was not solicited during the development of these innovations. Purpose As part of a larger study to develop an instrument that measures students' social and cognitive engagement with a course, this work seeks to explore the sensemaking processes faculty undertake when they choose to adapt and adopt the aforementioned instrument. In addition, we seek to investigate how engaging faculty in the process of developing and using the instrument impacts the overall ability of the instrument to meet the needs of current and future users. Method A group of engineering faculty at a pacific northwest institution participated in this study through interviews and survey implementation in their course. Data were collected through three interviews. First, faculty were interviewed to understand their motivation in using our survey and their perception of its benefits. A second interview followed, using the instrument items as a guide, to determine how faculty made sense of these items in relation to their course and their students. In a final interview, faculty were given the opportunity to select results they wished to view thereby eliminating questions from the dataset that they deemed outside of their needs or interests. Faculty were also asked what parts of the survey they would like changed and why. Results This study demonstrated how feedback from faculty, as it relates to the usability of the instrument and recommendations for improvement, impacted the evolution of the social and cognitive engagement instrument. In addition, this approach allowed for an understanding of how the adoption of the instrument emerged through faculty input. Conclusion Engaging faculty in the process of developing educational initiatives is an important aspect of fostering change. Most importantly, understanding faculty perspective can guide current and future development efforts of our instrument. Future research will investigate the role of the instrument and student data on teachers' decisions to modify their teaching practices.

publication date

  • June 24, 2017


  • 2017-June