For Immediate Release
28 November 2012
Contact: Marcy Dubroff, 717.291.3837
LANCASTER, Pa. — The National Science Foundation has funded the University of Southern California, under the leadership of higher education change and reform expert Dr. Adrianna Kezar, to examine ways to spread STEM education reform through the use of networks.
The proposed project will examine and compare four longstanding and successful undergraduate STEM reform networks (SENCER, PKAL, BioQUEST, and The POGIL Project) that have different designs, but a common purpose, in order to understand how the networks can be most effectively designed to spread innovations among network members and ultimately on the campuses where they are employed.
The three research questions examined are: 1. How do network members and network leaders perceive undergraduate STEM network design shape the ability to achieve goals? 2. What are the perceived benefits of participation in a network related to change for the individual network members and their campus? 3. How do networks form and how are they sustained in ways that help them achieve their goals? In order to address these research questions, a mixed-methods study will be conducted: a survey of participants within the networks; and interviews with network leaders. The study will provide information to inform the STEM community in terms of better network development as well as help NSF direct their funding priorities. This study will also provide needed information about created or non-organic networks and their ability to foster innovation and change.
POGIL Project Director Rick Moog (Franklin & Marshall College), Gail Webster (Guilford College, N.C.), and Chris Bauer (University of New Hampshire, N.H.) will serve as POGIL's advisory board representatives for the study, and Marcy Dubroff, associate director of The POGIL Project will serve as POGIL's liaison to the project.