Choose Your Own Adventure Session: Education and Learning

Wednesday, August 3, 2022
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM ET

Team Science in Education Research: A Mixed Methods Study

Victor Lugo

Abstract: A 29-item survey (with multiple sub-questions) was developed for research personnel in education to assess engagement in collaborative research and their self-perception of readiness, knowledge, and skills related to team science. The final items, divided into nine subsections, were informed by theory and previous research on influencers of successful collaborative research practices (e.g., Bennett & Gadlin, 2012) and adopted from existing surveys (e.g., Edmondson, 1999; Hall et al., 2008). A total of 980 education faculty across 50 states responded to the survey invitation. Descriptive analyses were conducted to describe the extent to which researchers in education engage in team science, as well as their perceptions of readiness and the quality of teaming skills. To examine potential group differences, we conducted an analysis of variance to examine mean differences by groups that differed in gender, race/ethnicity, position type, level of training, and team membership. We also conducted independent sample t tests to assess differences in research orientations, engagement, and orientation toward cross-disciplinary collaborative activities, and psychological safety based on membership in cross-disciplinary teams and prior team science training. Finally, we conducted a content and natural-language processing analyses of open-ended responses to identify the major themes in perceived benefits and barriers to team science. Though half of respondents considered themselves part of a cross-disciplinary research team, relatively limited opportunities for team science training were reported. Most respondents reported publishing research with relatively few co-authors despite reports that team-based research was somewhat or strongly encouraged or rewarded at their universities. Overall, responses related to overall research orientation showed positive beliefs and perceptions toward cross-disciplinary orientation and activities. Among group differences, faculty from underrepresented racial and ethnic groups reported lower psychological safety compared to white, non-Hispanic or Latino faculty members. Similarly, male faculty members reported higher research orientation composite scores than female faculty, and non-tenured faculty reported engaging in collaborative activities more frequently than tenured faculty. The rate of engagement in cross-disciplinary collaborative activities and orientation was higher for participants with prior team science training than for those without training and for participants that were members of a cross-disciplinary team. Finally, respondents identified numerous advantages, including diverse perspectives, collective expertise, innovative ideas, and higher research quality and productivity; frequent challenges mentioned by participants included time constraints, fundamental disciplinary differences, and finding a common language.

Conceptualizing Cross-Disciplinary Team Collaboration Processes as Team Learning for Collaborative Knowledge Construction

Eunhye Kim

Abstract: When a team tackles a problem, team members share and integrate individual knowledge to build a deeper understanding of the problem and explore multiple solutions. They learn from each other and collaboratively develop new insights situated in the team setting. From a social constructivism perspective, this can be theoretically conceptualized as collaborative knowledge construction through team learning. This conceptualization explains a process of how a team develops a new insight based on a collection of team members' pre-understandings and interpretations at the individual level but emerges and evolves at the team level through interactions among team members.Studies drawing on the learning sciences remind us how team learning is complex and multilayered and should be investigated in ways that include the interplay of multiple learning behaviors at both individual and team levels. While many team studies have conceptualized team collaboration as collaborative knowledge construction through team learning, only a few have attempted to unpack and combine multiple-level learning behaviors in collaboration processes. This talk seeks to address this omission and advance a more holistic understanding of team science, especially focusing on collaborative conversations in cross-disciplinary team settings. The main goal is to introduce a theoretical framework integrating team-level learning behaviors and individual-level cognitive and social behaviors in team learning processes. This framework is situated in a cross-disciplinary design team's journey to arrive at a shared understanding of user experiences in user-centered design contexts. In a user-centered design process, it is crucial that a design team has a mutually agreed-upon understanding of user experiences because it helps the team capture user needs and make more effective collective decisions. This framework, Team learning for user knowledge construction, describes how team members share, explore, negotiate, and integrate individuals' subjective interpretations. This framework has three components: 1) team learning behaviors (team-level collective behaviors), 2) multiple perspective-taking (individual-level cognitive behaviors), and 3) interpersonal interactions (individual-level social behaviors). An additional goal is to showcase how the team- and individual-level learning behaviors can be unpacked and integrated into this holistic, integrated theoretical framework with empirical data. The data is drawn from video-recorded team meetings of a software design and development team having different experts, and the analysis approach is conversation analysis. Although this framework and example data are situated in a design team, this talk would still have implications for a fresh approach to conceptualizing team members' collaborative behaviors to develop a shared understanding in team conversations, which can be applied to different settings including research teams or institutes.

Teaching for Integration: Sharing Experiences in a Graduate Interdisciplinary Design Studio Course

Clint Patterson

Abstract: Despite the documented need to train future scholars in integration of disciplines, teaching interdisciplinary remains challenging. Framed as a single case study at a R1 university in the United States, a diverse team of educators (materials sciences faculty/expert, educational development practitioner, and philosophy doctoral student) recently implemented three lab sections designed to impact discipline integration in a graduate-level interdisciplinary design studio course. Because the course is the culminating capstone of an interdisciplinary certificate program at the intersection of materials sciences and engineering, informatics, and design, the students had already been exposed to varying degrees of interdisciplinary research, practices, and discussions.Three early lab sessions (2-hours each) of the course were dedicated to sparking interdisciplinary thinking and collaboration for the students. The first session openly discussed the students' disciplinary and interdisciplinary contexts and outlined graduate education's need for increasing interdisciplinary experiences with the driving aim to address complex global and societal problems. Prior to the second session, the students read Metacognition and reflection by interdisciplinary experts: Insights from cognitive science and philosophy (Keestra, 2017). This reading guided a robust discussion about the complexities of team and individual metacognition. The third session paired Team Sciences' Comprehensive collaboration plans: Practical considerations spanning across individual collaborators to institutional supports (Hall, Vogel, and Crowston, 2019) for application within a collaborative case study exercise.The INSciTS lightning talk will deeply explore each lab session's design and application before closing with strategies to gauge the effectiveness of this interdisciplinary teaching approach. This contributes to the INSciTS vision by offering a graduate education lens where a diverse instructor team aims to spark (and sustain) interdisciplinary thinking, development, and research to solve complex problems. Notably, this learning experience signals an early step forward in teaching for integration at this case university, an institution currently lacking a coordinated team science course and development experiences, and can serve as a guidepost for other educators and institutions in similar situations. Finally, educators seek input and feedback from boundary spanning scholars with the goal to further interdisciplinary development in a graduate education context.

Applying SciTS to Enable Convergence Research in an NSF Science and Technology Center

Christine Ogilvie Hendren

Abstract: This lightning talk will present how Science of Team Science-based approaches and Integration and Implementation Sciences (I2S) methods have built in from the formation of the STEPS (Science and TEchnologies for Phosphorus Sustainability) Center, an NSF Science and Technology Center funded in October of 2020. STEPS is a convergence research community of diverse researchers who address the complex challenges in phosphorus sustainability by integrating disciplinary contributions across the physical, life, social, and economic sciences, and including non-academic stakeholders in knowledge co-creation. Phosphorus is both a limited, critical nutrient and a harmful, overabundant pollutant; solutions to this wicked problem will need to span 17 orders of magnitude in scale, from atomic level materials science to global market phenomena. During the multiple years that led up to the funding of this 9-university, 30+ investigator Center with as many self-identified disciplinary backgrounds, project leaders intentionally included Team Science and convergence expertise within the team, and welcomed evidence-based methods for collaboration and convergence into the fabric of the planning and the culture. Examples include the incorporation of named Boundary Objects, collaboration planning best practices, and group commitment to epistemic humility, interdependence, and knowledge co-creation. This talk will share a brief overview of our approaches and our plans to research ourselves.

Andragogy in Practice: Applying a Theoretical Framework to Team Science Training

Jacqueline Knapke

Abstract: Introduction Andragogy is a learning theory that describes six unique needs of adult learners. Andragogy has been applied in multiple educational fields, from teacher training to the sciences. This study is the first to apply andragogy to members of professional team working in an academic health research setting, using evaluation data from learners who participated in team science training workshops. Methods Evaluation survey responses were analyzed to determine the presence of andragogical principles within participant feedback. This study used an embedded study design with qualitative evaluation data as the primary focus but with quantitative evaluation data also analyzed to augment the qualitative data. Qualitative data were analyzed using a selective deductive coding process, followed by inductive analysis of any remaining, uncoded data. Quantitative data were summarized using means.ResultsFrom 2016-2021, 363 evaluations were collected from participants at 26 team science workshops. Deductive analysis demonstrated that approximately 90% of the qualitative data could be connected to andragogical principles. Participant responses to positive evaluation questions were largely related to two principles: readiness to learn and problem-based learning orientation. Participant responses to negative questions were largely connected to two different principles: role of experience and self-direction. Inductive analysis uncovered one theme not tied to andragogy: participant biological needs. Results of the quantitative survey data analysis supported qualitative findings. ConclusionStudy results demonstrate that andragogy can serve as a valuable construct to integrate into the development of effective team science training in an academic health research setting.