SPREAD OF CBE INNOVATIONS IN NETWORKS
ABOUT THE STUDY
While bottom-up change driven through networks is accepted as more effective than top-down initiatives, little is known about the network mechanisms that enable the scale-up of new practices in higher education.
This research is an investigation into the social structures and processes that support and influence the spread of postsecondary competency-based education (CBE) innovations in the United States.
Social network analysis (SNA) is applied to understand how inter-organizational relationships across the Competency-Based Education Network (C-BEN) relate to the implementation of new CBE models and practices (i.e., innovations).
KEY ASPECTS OF THE STUDY
MIXED METHODS, MULTIPLE DATA SOURCES
Quantitative and qualitative methods are combined for multiple perspectives, and permitting holistic evaluation of numeric results. A variety of data sources are used to paint a detailed portrait of social relationships linked to CBE models and practices.
Social network analysis (SNA) serves as the theoretical and methodological foundation for the research. Inter-organizational learning and network leadership theories are also engaged to explore knowledge transfer and implementation processes in organizations.
Express goals for the research include actionable insights for CBE policymakers, funders, and practitioners. These will be reported in reports and online visualizations designed for broad audiences.
ABOUT THE RESEARCH
The study serves as the dissertation research for Bruce Haupt, a doctoral candidate at the University of Kentucky. Bruce is enrolled in the Department of Educational Leadership in UK’s College of Education. The Chairperson for his doctoral committee is Dr. John Nash. Other committee members include Dr. Lars Bjork, Dr. Beth Rous, and Dr. Ajay Mehra.
This research extends a 2018 pilot study of collaborative interactions among actors in the CBE inter-organizational network with data drawn from publicly available online sources (e.g., CBE conference presentations with multiple presenters, CBE co-authored publications, and CBE board and committee memberships). An interactive visualization of the study data (built for a separate class project) can be found here.
The research project is a funded partner of the National Research Collaborative for Competency-Based Education/Learning administered by the American Institutes for Research (AIR) and funded by the Lumina Foundation.