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Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Doing Business As Name:Minnesota State University, Mankato
  • Jennifer N Karlin
  • (507) 389-1095
Award Date:11/09/2017
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 131,457
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 131,457
  • FY 2016=$131,457
Start Date:08/01/2017
End Date:07/31/2020
Transaction Type:Grant
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.041
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:Collaborative Research: Building Social Infrastructure for Achieving Change at Scale
Federal Award ID Number:1759958
DUNS ID:053423133
Parent DUNS ID:064754757
Program Officer:
  • Julie Martin
  • (703) 292-8657

Awardee Location

Street:Research and Sponsored Programs
Awardee Cong. District:01

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:Minnesota State University
Cong. District:01

Abstract at Time of Award

The emergent field of engineering education research is a necessary lever to make systemic and sustainable changes in the way we educate and develop engineers to meet current and future national priorities and global challenges. There is a great deal of variation in the strength of the social infrastructure used by engineering education researchers to collaborate and build research projects of sufficient depth and diversity for true systemic change. In this project, relative social infrastructure strength is grouped as follows: those researchers who are connected to a department of engineering education; those who are connected to a center or other non-department, formalized group on their campus; and those who have neither connection. Any combination of access types may be present on a single campus. The purpose of this project is to discover and implement evidence-based social infrastructure elements that meet the needs of the third group while maintaining the integrity of the department- and center-based infrastructure. These researchers are often located in their universities in capacities that are highly intertwined with the practice of engineering education; finding better ways to network and support them creates stronger ties between research and practice, facilitating systemic and lasting change. Using the social movement organizing methodology of relational meetings, the investigators will conduct a series of interviews with engineering education researchers who are connected with centers or departments those who are not, and their practitioner colleagues to identify areas of common concern, resources each can contribute to change agent networks, and opportunities for strategic intervention around which the engineering education change movement can build power. Through two phases of the research root cause analysis will be applied to the problems of faculty reward structures and diversity in engineering; working at the level of structural economic forces in higher education in the first case, and racism, sexism, ableism, and other forms of structural inequality in the second case, will guide strategies and interventions to produce lasting, significant change and address problems at their source. This approach will further the research on change in engineering education by understanding faculty behavior as grounded not only in personal motivation and institutional reward structures but also in current economic and policy frameworks for higher education. The results of this project will identify mechanisms to strengthen engineering education networks. Of particular importance are those researchers currently working in the field who are not strongly connected to those networks. Broad-based and widespread change will occur through modifications to communities' infrastructure and leadership development that support both the engineering education researchers and practitioners.

Publications Produced as a Result of this Research

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Jennifer Karlin, Rebecca Bates, Cheryl Allendoerfer, Dan Ewert, Ron Ulseth "Building Your Team of Change Champions" Proceedings of the Frontiers in Education Annual Conference, v., 2017, p..

Jennifer Karlin, Rebecca Bates, Cheryl Allendoerfer, Dan Ewert, Ron Ulseth "Building Your Change Agent Tool-Kit: The Power of Story" Proceedings of the American Society for Engineering Education Annual Meeting, v., 2018, p..

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