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The Improving Student Experiences to Increase Student Engagement (ISE-2) grant was awarded to Texas A&M University by the National Science Foundation, through EEC-Engineering Diversity Activities (Grant No. 1648016) with the goal of increasing student engagement and retention in the College of Engineering. The major component of the intervention was a faculty development program aimed to increase active learning, improve classroom climates, and decrease implicit bias and deficit thinking. Faculty teaching first- and second-year Engineering courses participated in the ISE-2 faculty development program, with the first cohort (n = 10) in Summer 2017 and the second cohort (n = 5) in Summer 2018. This paper describes the content of each of these components of the faculty development program and provides access to a Google drive (still in development at the time of the abstract) with resources for others to use. The faculty development program consisted of three workshops, a series of coffee hour conversations, and two deliverables from the participants (a teaching plan at the conclusion of the summer training and a final reflection a year following the training). Anchoring the program was a framework for teaching in a diverse classroom (Adams & Love, 2009). Workshop 1 (early May) consisted of an overview of the ISE-2 program. During the first workshop, faculty were introduced to social cognitive biases and the behaviors that result from these biases. During this workshop, the ISE-2 team shared findings from a climate study related to the classroom experiences of students at the College of Engineering. Workshop 2 (mid-May) focused on how undergraduate students learn, provided evidence for the effectiveness of active learning strategies, and exposed faculty participants to active learning strategies. Workshop 3 (early August) integrated the material from the first two workshops as faculty participants prepared to apply the material to their own teaching. Prior to each workshop, the faculty participants were provided with pre-workshop readings to familiarize them with some of the content matter. Coffee hour conversations—informal discussions between the participating faculty and the ISE-2 team centered around a teaching topic selected by participants—were conducted on a near-weekly basis between the second and third workshops. Handouts and worksheets were provided at each coffee hour and served to guide the coffee hour discussions. After the last workshop but before the Fall semester, faculty participants created a teaching plan to incorporate what they learned in the ISE-2 program into their own teaching. At the end of the academic year, the faculty participants are tasked with completing a final reflection on how ISE-2 has affected their teaching in the previous academic year. In this paper, we will report the content of each of the three workshops and explain how these workshops are related to the overarching goals of the ISE-2 program. Then, we will discuss how each of the coffee hour conversation topics complement the material covered in the workshops. Lastly, we will explore the role of the teaching plans and final reflections in changing instructional practices for faculty.more » « less
“Improving Student Experiences to Increase Student Engagement” (ISE-2) was funded by the National Science Foundation, through EEC-Engineering Diversity Activities, at Texas A&M University. The grant activity focuses on a faculty development program for faculty who teach first- and second-year engineering courses. As part of the evaluation plan, classroom observations were conducted by the ISE-2 team to assess the classroom climate and teaching practices of ISE-2 faculty participants and non-participant faculty peers. Since Spring 2017, the team has conducted 78 classroom observations. The ISE-2 evaluation team had expert classroom observers train novice observers. The observer training sessions became the basis of this DIY Classroom Observation Toolkit, which is available for people who are interested in conducting systematic classroom observations but have limited experience with qualitative coding and observational research. The goal of the Toolkit is for these individuals to teach themselves using the Toolkit components: a) an annotated bibliography introducing articles that are helpful to understanding and conducting classroom observations, b) training videos teaching viewers to conduct classroom observations using a protocol, and c) a series of sample classroom videos and validation keys for each of the sample videos. This paper serves as a user manual for the Toolkit, which can be accessed at http://bit.ly/diyclassobtoolkit.more » « less
“Improving Student Experiences to Increase Student Engagement” (ISE-2) was awarded to Texas A&M University by the National Science Foundation, through EEC-Engineering Diversity Activities. ISE-2 is a faculty development program focused on reducing implicit bias and increasing active learning, with the goals of (a) increasing student engagement, success, and retention, and (b) ultimately seeing greater increases for underrepresented minority (URM), women, and first-generation students. Ten faculty teaching first- and second-year Engineering courses participated in the first cohort of ISE-2 in Summer 2017, which consisted of three workshops and six informal “coffee conversations”. At the conclusion of the workshops, each faculty was tasked with completing a teaching plan for the Fall 2017 semester, to incorporate the strategies and knowledge from ISE-2 into the courses they plan to teach. Focus groups with the ISE-2 faculty were conducted in Fall 2017 to obtain feedback about the faculty development program. Classroom observations were conducted using environmental scans and the Classroom Observation Protocol for Undergraduate STEM (COPUS)1 to assess the classroom climate of faculty in the experimental (ISE-2) and control groups. Student surveys were also administered to students who were taught by ISE-2 faculty and control group faculty to assess student engagement and classroom climate. While the project is still ongoing, feedback from faculty regarding ISE-2 have been positive.more » « less