Areas of Interest Questionnaire

The initial ISSUES planning workshop, held in January, 2014, at the MAA Carriage House, identified five areas of common interest where the STEM disciplinary societies could be effective through collective efforts to influence cultural norms, offer resources including professional development, and provide direct programming for students.

The purpose of this survey is to determine if these areas of interest are relevant to organizations that did not participate in the workshop, and if so, to what degree. The results of this survey will be used to inform the design of future activities for the ISSUES community.

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1) Supporting Early Career Faculty
Within the disciplinary societies, the task is to develop workshops for and build communities of early career faculty, as well as partnering with the DBER community to assess the long-term effectiveness of this work. On individual campuses, the task is to work with deans and chairs to build cross-disciplinary networks of faculty who have been through these experiences, supported by networks of mentors both from the individual's profession and from within the individual's home institution.

2) Strengthening Departments
There is a need to increase the value placed on the department chair and to provide support for the chair by supplying tools for departmental self-assessment of teaching effectiveness and practical suggestions that chairs and departmental leaders can implement to improve teaching effectiveness.

3) Communicating Career Pathways
We need to increase the diversity of students within our disciplines by increasing student awareness of the variety of pathways that are available to them, actively recruiting students to these pathways, preparing them for a variety of careers, and introducing them to a network of potential employers.

4) Shifting Cultural Norms
Disciplinary societies should strive to move their members toward embracing teaching practices that align with what educational research has shown to be most effective and toward a mindset of continual efforts to improve undergraduate teaching and learning. This can be accomplished through policy statements, rubrics for assessing effective educational processes, and active promotion of these practices. Part of our collective goal should be the adoption of consistent language that reinforces this message across disciplinary boundaries.

5) Measuring the Impact of Our Own Programs
The disciplinary societies can benefit from developing common rubrics for assessing the effectiveness of their own programs and using these to help frame discussion and dialog across the societies.