John Ziker, a professor and chair of the anthropology department, Brittnee Earl, an instructional project manager with the Center for Teaching and Learning and Susan Shadle, a professor and director of the Center for Teaching and Learning, co-authored an open-access article with colleagues at University of South Florida and University of Nebraska Lincoln in the International Journal of STEM Education.
The Aug. 14 article, “Investigating how faculty social networks and peer influence relate to knowledge and use of evidence-based teaching practices,” is the result of a National Science Foundation-funded collaborative research project: Mapping Change in Higher Education – Social Networks and STEM Reforms.
The article describes a pilot study of teaching, research and service discussion networks in biology and chemistry departments at three public universities in the U.S. The article describes the variability of tie strength and diversity of ties (homophily) across departments. The article also reports that mean indegree (number of times a faculty member is nominated by other faculty members) is not uniformly correlated with organizational rank or tenure status. Tests of alternative peer influence models are presented. The results are framed in terms of the recent literature on STEM education reform in the U.S.
An introductory course in social network analysis is now available in the data science for liberal arts program at Boise State.