Colloquium - Sparking Sustained Innovation in Engineering Education through Faculty Communities

October 16, 2020 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm
Zoom - See emails for details
Geoffrey Herman

As researchers, faculty understand the critical importance of their research community. Peer review and collaboration are our core mechanisms for improving our own research and advancing the knowledge of our fields. In contrast, teaching is generally treated as an individual endeavor with sharing of innovative and effective teaching the exception rather than the norm and peer review practically taboo. In the Grainger College of Engineering, we established the Strategic Instructional Innovations Program (SIIP) to translate our best practices for innovative and transformative research to create sustainable innovation in the way we teach. SIIP is an internal, competitive grant program. Teams of at least three faculty propose strategic efforts to collaboratively improve the quality of teaching and curriculum in the college. A group of ~10 faculty, called Education Innovation Fellows, review proposals, mentor proposal teams, and build collaborations between SIIP teams. Using a series of case studies and social network analysis, we will discuss how a team of teams model is vital for creating and sustaining innovation in engineering education. We will focus on the spread of collaborative learning and computer-based, mastery learning across our college, with special attention to how the infrastructure of SIIP was vital for supporting rapid shifts in instruction due to COVID-19.


Geoffrey Lindsay HermanDr. Geoffrey L. Herman is a Teaching Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He earned his Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Cha­mpaign as a Mavis Future Faculty Fellow and conducted postdoctoral research in the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University. He helps lead the Grainger College of Engineering’s Strategic Instructional Innovations Program and the Teaching Professionals Program. His research focuses on how students learn engineering and computing concepts and studying processes for creating systemic change in how engineering and computer science are taught in college settings. His research on students’ misconceptions in programming was awarded the best paper in the first 50 years of the ACM Special Interest Group, Computer Science Education. He is a member of the Computer Research Association Education committee.