NABT/SCST Vision & Change Implementers Network

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Title of Abstract: NABT/SCST Vision & Change Implementers Network

Name of Author: Stacey Kiser
Author Company or Institution: Lane Community College
PULSE Fellow: No
Applicable Courses: All Biological Sciences Courses
Course Levels: Across the Curriculum, Faculty Development, Introductory Course(s), Upper Division Course(s)
Approaches: Mixed Approach
Keywords: Professional Development, Conference, Association, Network

Name, Title, and Institution of Author(s): Jaclyn Reeves-Pepin, National Association of Biology Teachers Brian Shmaefsky, Society for College Science Teachers Donald P. French, National Association of Biology Teachers

Goals and intended outcomes of the project or effort, in the context of the Vision and Change report and recommendations: NABT's goal was to leverage the membership and activities by professional associations to create a national network of faculty dedicated to promoting vision and change transformations. NABT has been involved in the Vision and Change initiative since the program's inception, and actively promotes the goals of Vision and Change with programming at its National Professional Development Conference, articles in the journal, The American Biology Teacher, and association newsletter, and through partnerships with science and science education societies.

Describe the methods and strategies that you are using: The leadership of NABT and SCST decided to initiate a joint effort to broaden awareness and participation in transformation of undergraduate education through professional development at both the national and regional/local levels. This effort led to a set of events conducted during NABT’s National Professional Development Conference held in Dallas in November 2012, sponsored by NSF (McLaughlin, J and Metz, A are Co-PIs) and featuring invited speakers from AAAS, NRC, and NSF. Dr. Shirley Malcom from AAAS gave a plenary talk entitled “Rethinking Biology Education from the Grassroots Up.” Dr. Malcom’s presentation transitioned into the NSF supported NABT Faculty Professional Development Summit: Moving From Vision to Change (Co-PIs: McLaughlin J and Metz, A), a full day workshop event featuring leaders from AAAS, NSF, NRC and other institutions. Attendees of the Summit were invited to become ‘fellows’ who would participate in ongoing exchanges and evaluation with the goal that these ‘fellows’ would present their strategies at future meetings. The Summit was then followed by the Vision and Change Implementers Meeting, a joint effort between NABT and SCST to facilitate and support local networks of educators who are dedicated to implementing the strategies outlined in Vision and Change. Organized by the ten geographical regions represented by NABT’s Regional Coordinators, attendees from both two year and four year institutions were challenged to develop plans to engage biology faculty and/or students at the local level to replicate networks that would promote, exchange, and critique practices and results. These networks would thus provide support for innovation. Initial activities and reports from the regions were scheduled for January 2013, and preliminary reports indicate plans for face-to-face and videoconference activities in spring 2013. Additional support for dissemination, exchange, and recruitment includes NABT’s recently launched ecosystem, an online user forum.

Describe the evaluation methods that you used (or intended to use) to determine whether the project or effort achieved the desired goals and outcomes: NABT currently evaluates every conference workshop. We can estimate participation as a percentage of conference attendees in Vision and Change events and record firm counts where members volunteer for specific projects. Regional Vision and Change events will record the number of local attendees and projects. Activity on the ecosystem site can be tracked. NABT plans to continue Vision and Change workshops and projects at future conferences and publications.

Impacts of project or effort on students, fellow faculty, department or institution. If no time to have an impact, anticipated impacts: We are striving to establish a sustainable, faculty-led peer-support system acting, locally, regionally, and nationally that is supported through the partnership of professional organizations that can be modeled and scaled-up through the development of further partnerships among scientific and science-education associations.

Describe any unexpected challenges you encountered and your methods for dealing with them: Awareness of Vision and Change appears to be uneven across institutions and NABT members. In a 2012 Conference discussion session moderated by NABT President-Elect, Stacey Kiser, “Vision and Change at the Two Year College.” Targeted for two-year faculty, approximately one third of the participants had previously worked with Vision and Change through national or regional workshops, one third had heard about Vision and Change but were unfamiliar with the details of the final report or ongoing efforts, and the one third had never heard about Vision and Change. This lack of familiarity with Vision and Change by two-year college faculty is distressing but not unexpected.

Describe your completed dissemination activities and your plans for continuing dissemination: Dissemination has taken place through national conferences and will be continued through regional and national conferences, association publications, and electronic venues supported by the organizations. Local meetings of the components networks and interactions among participants by their very nature serve to disseminate results.

Acknowledgements: NABT thanks Dr. J. Labov, Dr. S. Malcolm, Dr. J. McLaughlin, and Dr. A. Metz, Dr. S. Singer, Dr. J. Herrera, s, Dr. G. Uno, Dr. M. McCartney, and Dr. M. Hoefnagel for engaging with NABT members on Vision and Change at the 2013 conference. NSF and McGraw-Hill Publishing funded the Summit and Implementers Workshop.