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Innovation Through Instructional Integration (I3)

September 2010

In 2009, the National Science Foundation funded 30 grants to colleges and universities to spur “Innovation through Institutional Integration” or ICUBED. According to NSF, “significant synergistic potential can be ignited when scholars and educators in diverse disciplines work together. Similarly, NSF awardees can harness new synergies by working together with other NSF-funded projects on their own campus or with other partners. When the results of these synergies are both compatible with and beneficial for the institution(s) involved, successful innovation can be created.”

This research project uses six case studies to examine how I-Cubed awardees operationalized the meaning of “institutional integration” and “innovation.” The project uses social network analysis (SNA) to quantify the nature and evolution of these campus-wide collaborative networks. The project examines the extent to which changes occur in activities (planning, budgeting, scheduling, evaluating), organizational/social identity (identification with a single NSF program/and or group of people), and mental models or schema (shared cognition about the nature of the problem, what needs to be addressed, and appropriate strategies for addressing them). This work is also looking at the extent to which the selection of particular themes identified in the ICUBED solicitation and around which projects must build integration—broadening participation, critical educational junctures, globally engaged workforce, integration of research and education, and research and evaluation—appear to affect project outcomes and success.

Emergent Findings

See Project Website

Co-Principal Investigator: Mr. F. Joseph Merlino


Principal Investigator: Dr. Joy Frectling (Westat)

Co-Principal Investigator: Dr. Karen Stephenson (Netform)

Funding Source: National Science Foundation (NSF)

  • Start Date: September, 2010

  • Duration: 6 years

  • Total Award: $247,803

  • Location: National

  • Fiscal Agent: Westat

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