The Impact of Diversity on Group Productivity Within Online Faculty Mentoring Networks (FMNs) of Educators

By Sam S Donovan1, Alison N Hale1, Loretta Wanda Liu1, Katie Grobengieser1

1. University of Pittsburgh

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With the fast growing pace of online technology for teaching and obtaining information, increasingly, many educators are turning their browsers on to immerse both themselves and their students in the plethora of resources that the internet has to offer. QUBES (Quantitative Undergraduate Biology Education Synthesis) is one of these online resources, specializing in aiding professors who want to implement more quantitative biology into their lecture material. QUBES allows educators to participate in various “modules” available for professors to utilize via Faculty Mentoring Networks (FMNs). FMN members attend meetings with each other to discuss their progress in implementing new teaching strategies, tools, and resources through video chat on Google Hangouts. Our research specifically focuses on comparing the productivity of these meetings in each FMN to the level of diversity of that specific group. Various claims suggest that  a greater diversity of thinkers contribute to more successful projects. Therefore, we predict that a greater diversity in geography, institution type and size, and percent of tenure will correlate to a greater measure of productivity in FMN meetings.  Diversity is measured and analyzed as differences in geographic location, type and size of institution the participant teaches at and whether or not the participant has tenure.  To quantitatively score the productivity of members, a second set of data is gathered from analyzing FMN recordings  of each group. This data set will analyze educator-educator interactions as well as educator-mentor interactions to give a holistic view of overall group productivity. Analyzing the data using a statistical and mathematical model will highlight any significant correlating trends in three different FMNs. Further analysis and conclusions will be determined from the gathered data.


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  • Sam S Donovan; Alison N Hale; Loretta Wanda Liu; Katie Grobengieser (2016), "The Impact of Diversity on Group Productivity Within Online Faculty Mentoring Networks (FMNs) of Educators,"

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