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Recommendations for Colleges/Universities, Professional Societies and NSF

Note: This is the unedited list of recommendations developed during the workshop for colleges and universities, professional societies and NSF.

Recommendations for NSF

  • It’s important to clarify what it wants/means with respect to dissemination.
    • “Broader Impact” doesn’t really cover the types of things that faculty really should be thinking about and doing
    • Change in title for CCLI program will help, but title and RFP language change should be accompanied by a “marketing plan” as well.
    • Distribute the message in lay language, not NSF-speak, please
    • What is the measurable goal of “good dissemination” that’s included in the proposal
    • Dissemination is not just “I did this”, but it’s also diffusion/use
  • It’s important to be sure reviewers understand the value and need for diffusion, dissemination, sustainability
    • Use orientation session of CCLI review panels, to train reviewers with dissemination.
  • NSF could fund workshops for dissemination
    • Model on webinar with local facilitation/face-to-face workshops with proposal writing, broader impact, evaluation.
  • NSF could encourage proposals from potential adopters to take materials developed by developers and adopt it or adapt it.
    • Current phased-plans encourage the developers to ask for funding to do the dissemination, flip this to require the lead institution/PI to be someone that wants to adopt/adapt the innovation.
  • NSF could encourage people to submit grants to test whether specific innovations could be demonstrated to be cost effective.
  • It’s important to continue to clarify the message that “commercialization” is “ok”, it’s not a bad word
    • Distribute the message in lay language, not NSF-speak, please
  • It’s important to improve the connection between DUE/EHR and disciplinary directorates grant programs (and progression of development)
  • On the NSF Website, it would help raise the visibility of educational innovations to include them in Program Highlights, and highlight CCLI projects on NSF foundation-wide or DUE/EHR pages.
  • After a project has been funded–ask for details of evaluation plan, dissemination plan (similarly to IRB)
  • NSF could work on developing criteria, in partnership with professional societies, for which individuals could identify exemplary projects

Recommendations for Colleges and Universities

  • Colleges/universities should consider using/reallocating existing faculty development funding/travel funds to connect faculty to existing communities/dissemination networks.
    • Or, part of requirement of funding is to explicity link to dissemination with professional colleagues, or peers at the university.
  • Colleges/universities could host educational workshops/fairs regionally around college/university.
    • E.g., encourage 4-year colleges and univeristies to host workshops with high-schools–for exchange in both directions
    • E.g., community colleges
    • Link to NSTA to scale up nationally
  • Departments should assess what they’re doing with learning and teaching, and develop a plan to get there.
    • Examine and remove barriers to innovation.
    • Set up working group to look at course evaluation instrument, and if the goal is improved teaching and learning–make sure the instrument leads to it and supports.
  • College and university administration could give faculty release time to participate in community/network building, possibly as part of faculty development activities.
  • College and university administration could support dissemination within the university–with a peer in the same department, with colleagues in other departments
    • Encourage colleges/universities to highlight innovations across department lines
  • “Candy store” of options that are available at the campus for individual faculty can use (hosted by colleges/universities, or professional organizations?)
    • Institutional incentive to use the innovation, to try educational innovations/approaches in use elsewhere in the department or university
  • Colleges and universities might need to clarify intellectual property rights on the educational innovations under development
  • Colleges and universities could develop institution-wide graduate student teaching programs using best practices, etc.
  • Universities could help streamline institutional review board process; to help PIs understand how it applies to the type of research or development a PI is proposing

Recommendations for Professional Societies

  • Faculty PIs could encourage their professional societies to raise visibility and stature of educational programs
    • Concern about “education” section marginalization…it’s too easy to just say the society has an education section.
    • Professional societies could help cross-pollinate educational innovations across universities and disciplines
    • For professional societies, especially those that are influential in curriculum and assessment in the discipline, they could encourage institutions that educational research is important and valuable
    • Work through state government and state agencies, to impact public colleges and universities (examples of including entrepeneurship as a characteristic in tenure and promotion; accept core courses from community colleges during transfer to colleges/universities)
    • Professional societies could participate in identifying the learning outcomes and curricula and courses in the disciplines (examples given of what ABET has done in engineering, MAA in mathematics)
      • Could also center on careers–what’s needed for the career
      • Professional societies could endorse certain research-based teaching methods and under what conditions
      • Professional societies could work on standards for faculty development within the discipline–for the faculty and graduate students.
      • Professional societies could highlight funded educational grants in their areas