What is it about?

Calls for science education reform have been made for decades in the USA. The recent call to produce one million new science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) graduates over 10 years highlights the need to employ evidence-based instructional practices (EBIPs) in undergraduate STEM classes to create engaging and effective learning environments. However, the mechanisms and processes by which faculty learn about and choose to implement EBIPs remain unclear. To explore this problem area, we used social network analysis to examine how an instructor’s knowledge and use of EBIPs may be influenced by their peers within a STEM department.

Featured Image

Why is it important?

Change agents in higher education should consider local social network characteristics when developing change strategies.


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.

Professor John P Ziker
Boise State University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Investigating how faculty social networks and peer influence relate to knowledge and use of evidence-based teaching practices, International Journal of STEM Education, August 2019, Springer Science + Business Media,
DOI: 10.1186/s40594-019-0182-3.
You can read the full text:



The following have contributed to this page