- Year 2018
- NSF Noyce Award # 1439789
- First Name Sharon
- Last Name Vestal
- Discipline Other: Biology, Chemistry, Math, and Physics
Matt Miller, South Dakota State University, firstname.lastname@example.org
Amanda Jensen, South Dakota State University, email@example.com
One of the successes of the REMAST Scholarship Program is the strong community we have built. As we near the end of our Phase II Noyce project, we want to evaluate the connectedness of the REMAST community. We will use social network analysis (SNA) to attempt to measure this connectedness. Few have used SNA to examine the communities formed in Noyce projects. What we learn in this research can be used in other Noyce projects to help them develop their professional learning communities.
The goal of the project is to determine how connected the alumni, scholars, and faculty are via social media, email, text messaging, and in person communication. We are going to use data from our REMAST Facebook group, which we started in September 2009, about one year after we awarded the first scholarships. We will also conduct a survey to find out how often people communicate with each other outside of the Facebook group. We will also look at the last 12 months of Facebook post data to determine how many people clicked on the notification of the post and who clicked on it.
We are going to use SNA to examine the data we collect. We will look at the Facebook post data and the survey data separately. Then we will combine aspects of each to get a better picture of the REMAST professional learning community. We want to see if the connectedness of the REMAST community has impacted the resilience of our alumni.
The REMAST community is close-knit. As one alumni said, we are a REMAST family. Our theory is that one of the contributing factors to this strong community is our Facebook group as well as interpersonal communications. This research on measuring the connectedness will help us verify our theory. We are in the early stages of this research so the poster will give an introduction to our discoveries.
The community aspect of the REMAST program can be easily replicated, even without NSF funding. It can serve as a model for teacher preparation programs as well as other Noyce projects.
This Phase II grant has awarded $205,000 to 14 pre-service science and math teachers. From this group, we have 12 graduates and 11 of them have teaching contracts for this coming school year. Since our first Noyce grant, we have awarded a total of $895,000 and produced 56 science and math teachers. About 79% of our graduates are either teaching or involved in education and 5.5% are currently full-time graduate students.
We have regularly attended the Noyce Summit and the Midwest Noyce conference to disseminate our results. We are currently working on a paper on teacher resilience, and the SNA research will become a Master?s research paper for Amanda Jensen, a REMAST alumni and current SDSU Mathematics graduate student.