October 18, 2012
Our latest data brief–The “Down-the-Hall” Phenomenon: Preparing the Next Generation of Faculty to Use Innovative Pedagogy–examines how pedagogical knowledge is disseminated to future sociology faculty members. Looking at membership activity data for all 2012 graduate student subscribers to ASA’s online, peer-reviewed, digital Teaching Resources and Innovative Library in Sociology (TRAILS), we find that graduate students are almost twice as likely to subscribe to TRAILS when at least one faculty member from their academic department subscribes—other factors being equal. (Other characteristics–such as having a subscription to the ASA journal Teaching Sociology–have a demonstrated association with subscription to the digital library as well.) Such a finding suggests that sociology faculty play a significant role in generating awareness of teaching and learning activities to students—a process of socialization that has been referred to as the “down-the-hall” phenomenon.
If you are a current or former graduate student in sociology or a closely related discipline, how have you adopted or learned content and methods for teaching sociology concepts? Do your experiences echo or diverge from our latest research findings? We invite you to discuss this through your comments.
November 14, 2011
The latest findings from our longitudinal study of the diffusion of innovation in and adoption of cutting-edge teaching materials by teaching and learning networks are now available in the Powerpoint presentation, The Effects of Technology on the Growth of a Teaching and Learning Network. These findings were presented last month at the 2011 Research and Evaluation on Education in Science and Engineering (REESE) PI Meeting in Pentagon City.
(photo credits: EERA_ECER)
February 22, 2011
Now available on the website are two new PowerPoint presentations exploring different aspects of the sociology pipeline.
Feel free to post comments and questions, and to share similar experiences.
Note: all comments are publicly visible. Do not include your name if you wish to remain anonymous.
February 15, 2011
Our first research brief of the new year is now available! Networks and the Diffusion of Cutting-Edge Teaching and Learning Knowledge in Sociology is the second in the series on our study of networks of teaching and learning scholars. In it, we compare the characteristics of the early adopters of ASA’s new interactive, peer-reviewed Teaching Research and Innovative Library in Sociology (TRAILS) in 2010 with those who purchased the now defunct paper-based teaching and learning materials (TRC materials) in 2008.
In exploring the diffusion of innovation, our research attempts to answer the following questions:
- How are transformational ideas and practices produced and diffused in an academic discipline?
- Does a new technology lead to more widespread dissemination of cutting-edge teaching and learning materials?
- Does it lead to changes in the connections and characteristics of sociology faculty members involved in the production and consumption of teaching and learning knowledge?
- Are social interventions necessary to broaden the scope of usage and patterns?
Feel free to post comments and questions. Please do not include your name if you wish to remain anonymous.
(Photo credits: Michigan State University, SNR)