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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. Background: The National Science Foundation (NSF) and other organizations have spent millions of dollars each year supporting well-designed educational innovations that positively impact the undergraduate engineering students who encounter them. However, many of these pedagogical innovations never experience widespread adoption. To further the ability of innovation developers to advance engineering education practice and achieve sustained adoption of their innovations, this paper explores how one community-based model, engineering education guilds, fosters propagation across institutions and individuals. Engineering education guilds seek to work at the forefront of educational innovation by creating networks of instructor change-agents who design and implement a particular innovation in their own context. The guilds of interest are the Consortium to Promote Reflection in Engineering Education (CPREE) and the Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network (KEEN). With these guilds as exemplars, this study’s purpose is (1) to articulate how the approaches of engineering education guilds align with existing literature on supporting sustained adoption of educational innovations and (2) to identify how these approaches can advance the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education community’s discussion of propagation practices through the use of the Designing for Sustained Adoption Assessment Instrument (DSAAI). The DSAAI is a conceptual framework based on research in sustained adoption of pedagogical innovations. It has previously been used in the form of a rubric to analyze dissemination and propagation plans of NSF educational grant recipients and was shown to predict the effectiveness of those propagation plans. Results: Through semi-structured interviews with two leaders from each guild, we observed strong alignment between the structures of CRPEE and KEEN and evidence-based sustained adoption characteristics. For example, both guilds identified their intended audience early in their formation, developed and implemented extensive plans for engaging and supporting potential adopters, and accounted for the complexity of the higher education landscape and their innovations in their propagation plans. Conclusions: Our results suggest that guilds could provide another approach to innovation, as their structures can be aligned with evidence-based methods for propagating pedagogical innovations. Additionally, while the DSAAI captures many of the characteristics of a welld-esigned propagation strategy, there are additional components that emerged as successful strategies used by the CPREE and KEEN guild leaders. These strategies, including having mutual accountability among adopters and connecting adoption of innovations to faculty reward structures in the form of recognition and funding should be considered as educational innovators work to encourage adoption of their innovations. 
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  3. Engineering education guilds, such as the Consortium to Promote Reflection in Engineering Education (CPREE) and the Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network (KEEN), seek to work at the forefront of educational innovation by creating networks of instructor change agents who design and implement a particular innovation in their own context to further the professional formation of engineers (PFE). While many of the innovations facilitated by CPREE and KEEN have been published extensively, it is unclear how successful the propagation of reflection and entrepreneurial mindset has been in the engineering education community. The major aim of this project is to characterize these two engineering education guilds with respect to their dissemination/propagation plans and, in the future, quantify the propagation of the innovations championed by CPREE and KEEN. The research questions we seek to answer in this paper are: (1) What are the planned dissemination/propagation approaches of well-established engineering education guilds? and (2) To what extent do their characteristics align with the Designing for Sustained Adoption Assessment Instrument (DSAAI)? The DSAAI was developed in 2016 to provide education developers, grant writing consultants, and funding agencies with a tool for assessing the propagation plans of researchers developing educational change strategies. To answer these questions, we conducted semi-structured interviews with the leaders of CPREE and KEEN. The transcriptions of the interviews will be used to create within-case reports for each guild. The within-case reports will consist of a rich description of the pedagogical innovation as well as the history of the guild and its goals. Using the DSAAI, we will qualitatively code the techniques that each guild is using to facilitate widespread adoption as well as the extent to which they are following a dissemination or propagation paradigm. Lastly, thematic analysis will be used to capture emerging themes that arise from the interviews. 
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