Collaborative Research: Facilitating Engineering Faculty's Adoption of Evidence-based Instructional Practices

Project: Research project

Project Details


This project aims to serve the national interest by increasing adoption of evidence-based instructional practices (EBIPs) in undergraduate engineering courses. Research shows that, although many faculty are aware of EBIPs, relatively few adopt them in their classes. EBIPs include important educational innovations with demonstrated evidence of a positive impact on student outcomes. Thus, widespread STEM educational success hinges upon greater implementation of these innovations. Workshops on EBIPs increase faculty awareness of them, but do not result in high levels of adoption. To increase adoption of EBIPS, efforts must focus on faculty needs for content-specific resources and for help on implementing EBIPs in their classrooms. This project aims to address specific contextual needs of faculty and examine the process by which faculty attempt to implement EBIPs within their local conditions. Primary activities of the project include: 1) examining faculty's contextual barriers, affordances, and the decision-making process when implementing EBIPs; 2) co-developing course curriculum and materials to implement EBIPs with faculty; and 3) developing research-informed resources for EBIP-based course development. The project will engage faculty from at least 40 different institutions, including R1, undergraduate-focused, minority-serving, and two-year institutions.

To increase the adoption of EBIPs in engineering classrooms, it is critical to understand the contextual, individual challenges and successes faculty encounter when developing their courses. The expected outcomes of this project are: (1) an understanding of the contextual barriers, affordances and decision-making process of engineering faculty when implementing EBIPs, (2) case study examples that provide detailed descriptions of faculty attempts to incorporate EBIPs, and thus provide accounts of how the change process occurs, and (3) a conceptual model for EBIP-based course development that will facilitate engineering faculty learning about how to integrate EBIPs. Project results will have implications for facilitating faculty adoption of EBIPs. The materials developed, sample exercises and answer keys, literature, and resources accessed during the process, as well as implementation strategies with examples of contextual challenges and how to mitigate them, will be shared through publications, workshops, and online media. Cumulatively, the model and 'real classroom' examples are expected to serve as a platform for supporting faculty and promoting large scale adoption of EBIPs. The project will contribute to national objectives to broaden implementation of effective instructional practices at higher education institutions. The NSF IUSE: EHR Program supports research and development projects to improve the effectiveness of STEM education for all students. Through the Engaged Student Learning track, the program supports the creation, exploration, and implementation of promising practices and tools.

This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

Effective start/end date6/15/215/31/24


  • National Science Foundation: $199,999.00


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