The work of engineering education researchers has resulted in the development of research-based instructional strategies (RBISs) aimed at providing educators with means to increase student learning. Research has shown that there is a disconnect between the development of RBISs and their use by educators. Means to make new practices more accessible to educators include the development of tools that allow educators to assess their progress towards incorporating RBISs in their classroom. The ways in which these tools are developed have shown to play an important role in their usefulness: tools developed with faculty input tend towards greater adoptability.
The work of this thesis focuses on the development of a survey tool intended to assist educators in their assessment of student engagement, with engagement being a foundational principle of RBISs. This work is described in two manuscripts. The first manuscript addresses the first deployment of our survey, presenting thoughts of faculty as they learned about the instrument. The second manuscript employs sensemaking as a means of describing faculty perceptions of student engagement and a survey to measure it. Cumulatively, 24 faculty participated in this study. Each faculty member participated in a semi-structured interview prior to deploying the survey in their course. Interviews were transcribed and coded for analysis.
Our work shows that faculty saw student engagement as important, were willing to implement a survey created by engineering education researchers, and exhibited interest in using a measurement tool to inform their teaching practices. Concerns faculty had regarding the survey were generally regarding length and/or applicability to their classroom. Overall, the ongoing nature of this work played an important role in the continual development and modification of our survey, with the later version of the survey generating more positive faculty perceptions.
Funding Statement (additional comments about funding)
In addition, this material is based in part upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under grant DGE-1544182. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.