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Abstract Title: Department-Level Change Initiatives: Using Social Network Analysis to Understand the Hidden Structure of Academic Departments
Abstract: Efforts to improve teaching in higher education have often focused on individual faculty.  However, there is a growing consensus that the academic department is a more productive focus of change initiatives.  Yet, academic departments are not all the same.  Understanding the structure of relationships within the department is important for identifying who should be involved in the change effort and in what roles.  It is also likely that a successful change effort will change the structure of relationships within a department.  This poster will present the preliminary results from a study of five academic departments at a research university.  A social network for each department was constructed based on a web survey that asked faculty to identify colleagues with whom they had teaching-related conversations.  Characteristics of the individuals and departments and their implications for change initiatives will be discussed.
Abstract Type: Contributed Poster Presentation

Author/Organizer Information

Primary Contact: Kathleen Quardokus
Western Michigan University
and Co-Presenter(s)
Charles Henderson, Western Michigan University

Contributed Poster

Contributed Poster: Download the Contributed Poster