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  1. This work investigates how innovations propagate through two professional networks (guilds): the Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network (KEEN) and the Consortium to Promote Reflection in Engineering Education (CPREE). Previous research has demonstrated that the adoption of pedagogical innovations is supported by the socialization of the innovation among potential adopters. In this work, we use social network analysis to explore the impact of professional connections on innovation adoption. Our research questions are: (1) How does overall social structure differ between guilds? (2) How do measures of social network structures relate to innovation adoption? A survey was distributed to members of KEEN and CPREE to capture the interactions respondents had while adopting the guild’s innovation. Social networks were generated for each guild and each respondent. These networks were analyzed to identify relationships between social network measures and the frequency of use of the innovation. Responses to open-ended questions were analyzed using thematic coding. The guilds’ overall structures impacted the formation and structure of distinct clusters/cliques, but these differing structures did not appear to affect sustained adoption. Individuals’ ego networks demonstrated a weak negative correlation between the frequency of adoption and the individual’s ego network density. Our results imply that having a diverse network exposes instructors to more ideas or allows them to see one idea from many perspectives.

     
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 1, 2024
  2. null (Ed.)
  3. Abstract Background

    Engineering education scholars (EES) seek to advance innovation, excellence, and access within education systems and the engineering profession. To advance such efforts, the intentional and strategic actions taken by scholars must be better understood.

    Purpose/Hypothesis

    This study aimed to advance the field's understanding of agency toward impact by (1) closely examining the experiences of early career EES pursuing impact in engineering education and (2) co‐constructing a contextualized theory of agency. We define agency as taking strategic actions or perspectives toward professional goals that matter to oneself and goals that relate to impacting engineering education.

    Design/Method

    Building on previous work about faculty agency, we leveraged approaches from grounded theory and integrated multiple qualitative approaches to analyze our experiences as six early career EES over the course of a 4‐year longitudinal study.

    Results

    Seven key insights about the professional agency toward impact in engineering education of early career EES emerged from the analysis. The contextualized theory and resulting visual representation illustrate this agency as a cyclical process with three components: (1) the factors influencing one's agency, (2) the agentic process itself, and (3) the output of the agentic process.

    Conclusions

    Our co‐constructed contextualized theory extends previous work by incorporating the temporal nature of agency, the generation and assessment of available moves, and the importance of feedback on future agentic practices. Our results have implications on how the engineering education community supports graduate students, early career scholars, and new members in their efforts to impact change.

     
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