*WINNER* Analyzing observational strategies using the Kirkpatrick model: Insight from a curricular redesign earmarked to promote student-centered learning in postsecondary education.
The purpose of this contribution is to provide insight into the role that observational strategies and models play in conducting program evaluations for student-centered STEM curricular redesigns at the postsecondary level. Since the start of the century, there has been a shift in STEM pedagogy that has emphasized a student-centered rather than teacher-centered approach. STEM fields have embraced these changes in order to offer more holistic and experiential-based learning practices to undergraduate students (Carlisle & Weaver, 2018; Felder & Brent, 2015). Within this context, the Chemical Engineering department at a four-year, public, Southeastern University implemented a three-course curricular redesign to try to enhance student-centered practices anchored in the Renaissance Foundry pedagogical platform via immersion experiences (Arce et al., 2015). These immersion experiences included guest speakers, simulations, training sessions, among others (Jorgensen, Arce-Trigatti, Sanders, Arce, 2019). The Kirkpatrick model is used analyze various aspects of student-centered learning within these curricular enhancements on observational data that was collected throughout the course of one semester of this redesign. Two different approaches to conducting observations were taken: one unstructured but guided by literature, the other structured via five observational models from scholarship. Both approaches (structured and unstructured) and the observational models utilized provided vastly different elements within the data collection that were insightful for evaluation purposes. Analysis of these approaches, implications for the use of these observational techniques for student-centered learning practices, and a discussion of these processes are provided as part of this contribution.