Spreading reform – beyond development and dissemination (Raina Katri, #aaptsm14)

by Stephanie Chasteen on August 11, 2014

I’m catching up on some blog posts from the AAPT meeting.   I have to say, it’s nice to blog again, and I hope to make some time for it in the future!

Writing a grant?   One effort that I wanted to make sure that more people know about is the Increase the Impact project which has tangible resources to help you in effective development of a grant with greatest chance for educational impact.  The leader is Charles Henderson, whose publications page auto-fills in my browser, I visit it so frequently.  Charles is one of the leaders in thinking about how to support broader change in STEM education among faculty and institutions.  His work has resulted in a lot of information about what doesn’t work to create faculty change – the typical model is that we create some educational innovation, wait for faculty to adopt it, and then lament the fact that they didn’t.  They call this the “development and dissemination” model, and it’s been shown that this does work to create awareness among faculty of these different techniques, but not necessarily to help them use it.

The Increase the Impact project is aimed at helping education researchers effectively propagate their work.  One of the things that they’re doing is to study exemplary practice, by talking to people running a grant to see how they’re disseminating.  What they found is that many of these PI’s expected their work to have a large impact on instruction, but they didn’t have any plans to directly engage the people who would be adopting their work.   So, the current thinking on the project, is that they want to encourage PI’s to engage in interactive development of resources (e.g, engaging faculty int he process of creating instructional materials, partnering with other institutions during development, using an advisory board) and interactive dissemination (e.g., interactive workshops for faculty, multi-day workshops, using pilot sites, and other ways to develop ownership among faculty).  Then, provide support to instructors, such as free materials, or to be available over time for questions.

The project has videos, rubrics, and summary plans on their website (increasetheimpact.com) to help support you in creating an effective propagation plan.


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