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U457A·SUNDAY WORKSHOP: A Workshop for Faculty Developers: An Accessible Process for Helping STEM Faculty Scope and Design Educational Research and SOTL!
Workshop Faculty Development Division (FDD)
Sun. June 23, 2024 1:00 PM to 3:30 PM
F149, Oregon Convention Center
Session Description

Free ticketed event
Background - The ProQual approach. The premise of the ProQual approach is that training faculty on how to conduct high-quality qualitative research should begin not with an overview of approaches, theories, and methods. Rather, it should begin by helping participants flesh out the social system that interests them, and then to define which specific parts of that social system they want to investigate. We call this approach a “methodologically unencumbered” introduction to educational research, intending to arrive at a “social reality under investigation” (SRUI): A tightly scoped segment of a larger social system that is the focus of research. Drafting a properly scoped SRUI is the most critical first step in research design, and the research questions and other decisions involved in the design of educational research flow more easily from there.

The primary mechanism in the ProQual Approach for fleshing out a social system and defining a SRUI is called a pictorial systems map. To create a pictorial systems map, STEM faculty first identify a topic of interest (e.g., “the mental health of undergraduate engineering students at X university”), and sketch out as many things as possible that might play a role in that topic of interest (continuing the example, “what factors might affect engineering student mental health?”) To help faculty develop comprehensive maps, we group potential elements of pictorial systems maps into six categories, coupled with three considerations for the map as a whole.

1. People (e.g., students, faculty, friends, family, co-workers)
2. Artifacts (e.g., assignments, publications, documents, possessions)
3. Educational practices (e.g., lectures, course activities, flipped classrooms, online learning)
4. Locations (e.g., classroom, campus, living quarters, hometown)
5. Structures (e.g., campus climate, academic policies, availability of student services)
6. Interactions (between people, policies, institutions, etc.)

1. Connections (How do the elements above interact with each other?)
2. Timeline (What are the time bounds of the social system being drawn?)
3. Granularity (How far do you want to “zoom in” on each part of the social system?)

Drafting a pictorial systems map has several benefits for the educational research process. First, it allows STEM faculty to get a “big picture” view of something they want to better understand, often revealing factors and interactions they did not previously consider. Second, it allows them to create an initial research design “product” (the map itself) without the need for extensive knowledge of educational research methods and theories. The creation of this product helps them build confidence in the initial steps of research design, and also results in an artifact they can use to communicate their social system of interest and research idea to others. Sharing the pictorial systems map with others is often a productive way to gain new perspectives on one’s research approach, and the workshop will dedicate time to doing so.

Workshop Content and Format:
This 2.5-hour workshop will focus on the methodologically unencumbered first four steps of the ProQual approach, allowing participants to experience the process first-hand, and then helping them understand how to leverage it in faculty development contexts. Participants will be asked to come into the workshop having filled out a worksheet (provided by workshop leaders) to write about something they (or a faculty member they work with) are intellectually curious to study in an educational context. We will bring a few pre-written backup scenarios participants can use if they do not fill out the worksheet prior. For the first third of the workshop, the leaders will introduce themselves and the ProQual approach. During the second third, they will use small group activities to help participants develop their interest statements into pictorial systems maps, and refine those systems maps to draft research questions. For the last third of the workshop, the leaders will discuss their experiences using the ProQual Approach to help faculty develop research ideas. The leaders will then break out into “conver-stations”, where each leader hosts a different table, and participants are free to select a leader to interact with, ask questions to, and discuss next steps in bringing the ProQual Approach back to their institutions to support their faculty development work.

Learning Objectives:
Upon leaving the workshop, participants will be able to:
1. Help faculty turn intellectual curiosity into a pictorial systems map to identify potentially
impactful areas of research in their social realities of interest.
2. Help faculty refine and scope their pictorial systems maps to translate their intellectual curiosity into actionable research questions.
3. Connect with an existing community of STEM faculty conducting educational research using the ProQual approach, and with other participants who work with STEM faculty to develop educational research and SOTL projects.

Proposed activities:
1. Introduce the ProQual Institute and workshop leaders - 10 mins
2. Participant introductions - 15 mins
3. Introduce interpretive research and ProQual approach to research design - 20 mins
4. Pictorial systems mapping demo - 15 mins
5. Activity: Collaboratively mapping your social realities - 35 mins
6. Activity: Selecting a SRUI and drafting a research question -10 mins
7. Break: 10 mins
8. Using the ProQual Approach in faculty development contexts - 10 mins
9. Workshop leader "conver-stations" - participants pick a leader to engage with and discuss their systems, maps, ideas, and next steps - 25 mins
10. Invitation to engage with the ProQual community to support moving your research and faculty development efforts forward - 5 mins

Why a 2.5-hour Workshop is Needed
This workshop aims to introduce participants to the first half of the ProQual process, giving them a chance to experience the development of a pictorial systems map and the refinement of this map into a SRUI and draft research question. During the ProQual Institute, these activities spanned the first three sessions of ProQual—a total of 4.5 hours of activity. We believe that we can meaningfully condense these activities to fit within a 2.5-hour workshop, as we have outlined above. However, it would be impossible to achieve the learning objectives in a 90-minute technical session. A technical session would
allow us to cover only the content of the ProQual approach and its faculty development applications, and would leave little time for participants to actually experience the process itself. Such a session would leave participants ill-equipped to guide other faculty through the process, as we would not have a chance to model doing so. Accordingly, we believe a 2.5-hour workshop is the best fit for our goals.

Team composition
Our team consists of nine workshop leaders and one workshop organizer. They are all technical STEM faculty who have successfully used the ProQual approach to design and (at least partially) execute a qualitative research project, making them ideal candidates to help other technical STEM faculty do the same.
We are aware that nine is an exceptionally high number of leaders for a workshop, which is why Dr. John Morelock (—the PI of the ProQual NSF project—is acting as workshop organizer. While he will take a back seat during the workshop itself, Dr. Morelock is in charge of working together with the leaders to plan the workshop curriculum, prepare the workshop proposal, and ensure all preparations for the workshop are complete before the conference begins. Based on our experience conducting a similar workshop in a different context, we assert that having nine leaders has three major advantages. First, while some leaders will take more responsibility than others when presenting information, having nine people will mean we can provide ample support to participants during small group activities. Second, we will be able to provide a large swathe of disciplinary backgrounds and academic roles for participants to choose from during the workshop’s “conver-station” phase, helping them connect with someone of similar background. Third, if any leader needs to withdraw from the workshop for any reason, the workshop will be able to continue without major disruption.

Moderated by
  1. Dr. John Ray Morelock
  1. Dr. Azadeh Bolhari P.E.
    University of Colorado Boulder

    Dr. Bolhari is a professor of environmental engineering in the Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering at CU-Boulder. Her teaching focuses on fate and transport of contaminants, capstone design and aqueous chemistry. She is passionate about broadening participation in engineering through community-based participatory action research. Her research interests explore the boundaries of engineering and social science to understand evolution of resilience capacity at family and community level to sustainable practices utilizing quantitative and qualitative research methods. She was awarded an NSF EAGER grant which engaged the low socioeconomic Latinx citizen scientists in a community resilience water quality research. Her recent NSF RIEF award explores ways to enhance innovation self-efficacy of engineering students, which measures one’s belief in their capacity to execute innovative designs. Dr. Bolhari completed her Ph.D. in 2012 in environmental engineering from Colorado State University focused on innovative treatment technologies for removal of DNAPLs in low permeability zones of sandy aquifers. After her PhD, she joined University of Colorado Denver as a lecturer for 4 years where she taught a variety of undergraduate and graduate courses and served on MSc/PhD theses committee of more than 15 students. Later, she moved to West Texas to establish an environmental engineering program from the ground up at the newly established department of engineering at Angelo State University. Dr. Bolhari was recognized by Tom Green County Commissioners’ Court in West Texas for her outstanding leadership, vision & development of the Future P4 Joint Emergency Training Facility Site Plan. She was awarded the Faculty Excellence in Research/Creative Endeavor Award of 2020 at Angelo State University. Furthermore, because of her commitment to excellence in effective teaching, she became an ASCE ExCEED (Excellence in Civil Engineering Education) teaching fellow. In her free time, she enjoys Boulder’s awe-inspiring hikes, gardening and oil painting.

  2. Dr. Heather Chenette
    Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

    Dr. Heather Chenette specializes in bioseparations and advanced separation materials. Her research focuses on membrane absorbers in downstream bioprocesses, polymer surface modification, and engineering pedagogy, and she is currently implementing and assessing learning activities in heat and mass transfer through the consortium to promote reflection in engineering education. Dr. Chenette has industry experience through her previous roles at Bristol-Myers Squibb, NanoH2O, and Cordoba Province Scienctific Agency in Argentina.

  3. Dr. Michelle E Jarvie-Eggart P.E.
    Michigan Technological University

    Dr. Jarvie-Eggart approaches teaching and research from a liberation pedagogy. She believes in the empowering value of education in both students and faculty and is committed to creating an inclusive campus environment for everyone. Her research interests lie in the area of technology adoption among both engineering students and faculty, including the adoption of programming languages and online learning; as well as humanitarian service learning.

  4. Dr. Kirsten Heikkinen Dodson
    Lipscomb University

    Dodson is the Raymond B. Jones College of Engineering's first faculty member to have received an undergraduate engineering degree from Lipscomb to return to teaching at the college full-time. Dodson obtained her Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering at Vanderbilt University. With a focus in microfluidics, she developed devices that fit on a microscope slide which allow biologists to better study cells or tissue. During her time at Lipscomb as an undergraduate student and throughout her studies at Vanderbilt, Dodson has devoted much of her time to engineering missions with The Peugeot Center and currently serves as its Associate Director for Research and Education.

  5. Dr. Rebecca Marie Reck
    University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign

    Rebecca Marie (Johnson) Reck is a systems engineer. She is a Teaching Associate Professor and the Associate Head of Undergraduate Programs in the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She teaches biomedical instrumentation (BIOE414), biomedical instrumentation lab (BIOE415), signals and systems (BIOE205), and Introduction to Bioengineering (BIOE100). Her areas of research include experiential learning, undergraduate instructional laboratories, alternative grading, and inclusive pedagogy. She is an active volunteer in the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), ABET, and the Society of Women Engineers (SWE). In her spare time, she enjoys making jewelry out of electrical and recycled parts, taking photographs outside, and running.

    From 2016-2020, she was an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Kettering University. She earned a Ph.D. in Systems and Entrepreneurial Engineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 2016. Previously she worked as a systems engineer in the Systems and Software group in the Flight Control Systems Department at Rockwell Collins (now Collins Aerospace). She has completed a Master of Science degree in Electrical Engineering at Iowa State University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology.

  6. Dr. Sarah A Wilson
    University of Kentucky

    Sarah Wilson is a lecturer in the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering at the University of Kentucky. She completed her bachelor’s degree at Rowan University in New Jersey before attending graduate school for her PhD at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, MA. Sarah conducted her thesis research on the production of the anti-cancer compound Paclitaxel (Taxol) through the use of plant cell cultures from the Taxus Yew Tree. Throughout her time at Rowan and UMass, she developed a passion for undergraduate education. This passion led her to pursue a career as a lecturer, where she could focus on training undergraduate chemical engineering students. She has been teaching at UK since 2015 and has taught Fluid Mechanics, Thermodynamics, Computational Tools and the Unit Operations Laboratory. She is especially interested in teaching scientific communication and integration of process safety into the chemical engineering curriculum.

  7. Dr. John Ray Morelock
    University of Georgia

    John Morelock is the Associate Director for Educational Innovation and Impact in EETI, where he will be coordinating faculty and graduate student professional development opportunities, including EETI’s monthly engineering education Forum, annual travel grant program, and the College of Engineering’s graduate TA pedagogy course. He received his doctoral degree in Engineering Education at Virginia Tech, where he was a recipient of the NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. His dissertation studied the teaching practices of engineering instructors during game-based learning activities, and how these practices affected student motivation. His research interests include engineering faculty development, student motivation, game-based teaching and learning, gamified classrooms, and engineering faculty collaborations around the scholarship of teaching and learning.

  8. Dr. Kenya Crosson
    University of Dayton

    Dr. Kenya Crosson serves as Associate Dean for Faculty and Staff Development in the School of Engineering at the University of Dayton (UD), and she is an Associate Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Engineering Mechanics. A UD faculty member since 2007, Kenya teaches undergraduate and graduate courses; manages an environmental engineering research program; and uses her professional skills to advance initiatives and outreach at the university, in her STEM field, and her community. Kenya teaches courses in engineering design, hydraulics, water treatment, and water quality. Her research program focuses on water treatment and water quality, and she collaborates with diverse, interdisciplinary teams to develop, characterize, and evaluate new materials for drinking water and wastewater treatment applications. Dr. Crosson’s leadership activities allow her to work collaboratively to advance institutional goals and mission within her department, the School of Engineering, and the university. She facilitated the strategic planning implementation team’s revisioning of the School of Engineering’s promotion and tenure policies for tenure track faculty, lecturers, and professors of practice; served a three-year term as the UD Learning Teaching Center’s Faculty Development Fellow for Diversity and Inclusion, provides workshops on inclusive teaching and anti-racism for the university community; participates in the American Society of Engineering Educators Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and provides workshops and webinars for the Sloan Scholars Mentoring Network’s community of graduates of the Sloan Minority PhD Program. Dr. Crosson is a 2018 HERS Leadership Institute alumna and an alumna fellow of the 2021-2022 Executive Leadership in Academic Technology, Engineering and Science (ELATES) Program.

  9. Dr. Kalynda Chivon Smith
    North Carolina A&T State University

    Dr. Kalynda C Smith is a social psychologist in the Department of Psychology at North Carolina A&T State University. Dr. Smith has a STEM education research program that addresses how identity, culture, and other psychosocial factors impact the educational outcomes of Black and Brown STEM students, especially those attending Minority Serving Institutions. Dr. Smith has been a Co-PI on several studies designed to improve the engagement and academic performance of Black and Brown students in Social Science, Mathematics, Engineering and Materials Science.

    Dr. Smith is a graduate of the Howard University Psychology Department with a M.S. and Ph.D. in social psychology. She served as a Senior Research Associate in the Howard University College of Engineering and Architecture in the HUSEM lab upon receiving her Ph.D. Dr. Smith later moved on to Hampton University where she joined the Hampton Brandeis Partnership for Research in Education in Materials. She is currently faculty at NC A&T working with colleagues at Iowa State regarding the use of microaggressions in engineering education, as well as with faculty in A&T's Mathematics Department to improve math curriculum, and with colleagues in the Hairston College of Health and Human Sciences and NC State on research designed to bring citizen science into the classroom. Dr. Smith is also a member of the Undergraduate Student Experiences with Citizen Science Network as a Steering Committee member.

  10. Melissa Srougi
    North Carolina State University

    Dr. Srougi is an Associate Teaching Professor in the Department of Molecular Biomedical Sciences and the Biotechnology Program at NC State University. Her scientific areas of expertise are in experimental cancer chemotherapeutics and mechanisms of chemotherapeutic resistance. She is passionate about expanding opportunities for undergraduate students to participate in research and actively trains undergraduate students in her laboratory. She is co-Director of an NSF funded Research Experience for Undergraduates Program and the Director of the Graduate Certificate in Molecular Biotechnology. She teaches a wide-variety of undergraduate/graduate interdisciplinary STEM lecture and lab courses focusing on biochemistry, cancer drug discovery and biotechnology. Dr. Srougi serves as an Associate Editor for Frontiers in STEM Education. She is author of the textbook Molecular Biology Techniques 4th Ed and has published numerous peer-reviewed papers on the scholarship of teaching and learning with a focus on collaborative learning, CUREs and metacognition.

There are currently 35 registrants interested in attending