Predictors of Dissemination Success of STEM Learning Innovations: An Empirical Investigation
Type of Degreedissertation
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Although a great deal of work has been done to develop new educational innovations, in the field of engineering, few innovations have found widespread acceptance in the classroom. Therefore, frameworks that conceptualize the interactions among the variables that influence successful dissemination are critical. In this dissertation, dissemination is defined as a process of first creating an awareness of an educational innovation, then influencing the intention to adopt, the actual adoption, and finally the routine use of that innovation (Fincher, 2000; Gravestock, 2002; Hutchinson & Huberman, 1994; King, 2003). This dissertation establishes the importance of achieving three research goals: 1) developing a framework that describes the interrelationships among the characteristics of educational innovations and an organizations’ readiness to disseminate, 2) having an expert panel rank the characteristics of the educational innovations and readiness of faculty members, administrators, and students to disseminate, and 3) testing whether important characteristics of educational innovations and readiness of faculty members variables are significant predictors of successful dissemination. Three papers using different methodologies were sequentially developed to achieve the research goals: 1) a systematic literature review of recent dissemination literature, 2) a Delphi study of grant recipients who had disseminated educational innovations, and 3) a survey of electrical engineering and computer science faculty members. Analysis of the results from these papers led to the following findings: 1. Ease of use of an educational innovation and care about student learning outcomes were significant predictors of intention to adopt that innovation; 2. Efficacy of faculty members toward change and valence moderated the relationship between ease of use and intention to adopt educational innovations; 3. Attitude to educational innovation moderated the relationship between ease of use and intention to adopt educational innovations and moderated the relationship between intention to adopt and adoption; and 4. Awareness of others using an educational innovation was a significant predictor of adopting an educational innovation. The results of this dissertation may be leveraged by developers, faculty members, department chairs, college deans, and grant program managers, to successfully disseminate educational innovations in engineering and technology disciplines.