A comparison of electrical, computer, and chemical engineering facultys' progressions through the innovation-decision process

Stephanie Cutler, Maura Borrego, Michael Prince, Charles Henderson, Jeffrey Froyd

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

20 Scopus citations


Research in Engineering Education has led to the development and dissemination of a number of different instructional strategies (such as active learning, problem based learning, and concept tests) contributing to greater student learning in the classroom. However, there is little research to demonstrate how Research Based Instructional Strategies (RBIS) are being propagated from the developers to engineering faculty for use in the classroom. To examine the process of dissemination, this study uses Rogers' Diffusion of Innovation framework, which has traditionally been used to examine the dissemination of technological innovations through a population or organization. Rogers discusses five stages (knowledge, persuasion, decision, implementation, and confirmation) of the innovation-decision process to explain how adopters make a decision about an innovation. To investigate faculty members' participation in the innovation-decision process, we conducted a survey of electrical, computer, and chemical engineering faculty (n = 221) teaching engineering sciences courses. The results show that ECE and ChE faculty members are located at a variety of stages throughout the innovation-decision process. However, most respondents have progressed past the knowledge phase; they are aware of the different RBIS. It is important to account for this when presenting an innovation or trying to encourage adoption of new practices, such as RBIS. It was found that workshops and presentations can influence the trial and use of RBIS when faculty are at the persuasion and decision stages. Also, women are more likely to try and use an RBIS than men. Many of the results found here are consistent with those found in a similar study done in physics education.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2012 Frontiers in Education Conference
Subtitle of host publicationSoaring to New Heights in Engineering Education, FIE 2012 - Proceedings
StatePublished - 2012
Event42nd Annual Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2012 - Seattle, WA, United States
Duration: Oct 3 2012Oct 6 2012

Publication series

NameProceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE
ISSN (Print)1539-4565


Other42nd Annual Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2012
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySeattle, WA

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications


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