This research paper examined the connectedness of Engineering faculty, teaching first and second year courses, to others both within and across academic departments who might be potential resources for diffusion of Learner-centered practices. In particular, the relationship of participants' social networks on their teaching practice was studied as an outcome of a year of professional development wherein participants were organized into disciplinary working groups, met regularly to discuss and implement learner-centered practices. The research question under investigation was: to what extent did the professional development activities improve the social network of faculty in the institution, and to what extent did this improvement influence faculty instructional practices? The connectedness of faculty in the network was assessed using Social Network Analysis (SNA). Participants recorded the faculty with whom they approached for help in learning about to improve their teaching, and also those faculty who approached them to solicit their help in improving teaching. Results show that the number and depth of connections in the faculty network deepened and extended dramatically. Moreover, there is evidence that the degree of connectedness as influenced by the professional development experiences is associated with an increased rate of change in faculty learner-centered teaching practices. Results are discussed regarding the importance of creating professional communities of faculty who regularly meet, try out new teaching behaviors, and share their experiences for the wide-scale improvement of first and second-year engineering programs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Jun 23 2018
Event125th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - Salt Lake City, United States
Duration: Jun 23 2018Dec 27 2018

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)


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