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A Community of Practice Approach to Becoming an Engineering Education Research Professional

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Conference

2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Professional Development and Advising for Graduate Students

Tagged Division

Graduate Studies

Page Count

27

Page Numbers

24.31.1 - 24.31.27

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/19923

Download Count

39

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Paper Authors

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Robin Adams Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Robin S. Adams is an Associate Professor in the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University. She holds a PhD in Education, an MS in Materials Science and Engineering, and a BS in Mechanical Engineering. Her research is in three interconnecting areas: cross-disciplinary thinking, acting, and being; design cognition and learning; and theories of change in transforming engineering education.

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Catherine G.P. Berdanier Purdue University, West Lafayette Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-3271-4836

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Catherine G.P. Berdanier is a Ph.D. student in the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University. She earned her B.S. in Chemistry from The University of South Dakota and her M.S. in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering from Purdue University. Her current research interests include graduate-level engineering education, including inter- and multidisciplinary graduate education, innovative and novel graduate education experiences, global learning, and preparation of graduate students for future careers.

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Paul Andrew Branham Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Paul Branham is a graduate student at Purdue University, pursuing a M.S. in nuclear engineering and a Ph.D. in engineering education. He received a B.S. in nuclear engineering from Purdue in 2012. He was a teaching assistant for the first-year engineering program at Purdue from 2010 to 2013 where he also contributed to curriculum development and online learning module production. His research interests include big data, data visualization, and computing. He is a student member of ASEE and the American Nuclear Society. He serves on the Board of Directors for both the Purdue Alumni Association and the Purdue Engineering Alumni Association.

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Neha Choudhary Purdue

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Neha Choudhary, is a graduate student in Engineering Education Department at Purdue University. She did her Masters in Wireless Communication and Computing from Indian Institute of Information Technology, Allahabad, India in 2009. Her research interests are global engineering education, community learning and cross cultural competences in engineering education.

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Trina L. Fletcher Purdue University, West Lafayette Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/https://0000-0002-1765-5957

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Trina Fletcher is an Engineering Education doctoral student at Purdue University. Her research focus includes the recruitment and retention of underrepresented groups in STEM education with a special focus on women. Prior to Purdue, she spent time in industry along with completing research and writing on STEM education related topics. She holds a Bachelor's degree in Industrial Technology and a masters degree in Engineering Management. Follow her on Twitter at STEMGenius.

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Molly H Goldstein Purdue University, West Lafayette Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-2382-4745

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Molly Goldstein is a first year PhD student in the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University. She previously worked as an environmental engineer in air quality and is interested in engineering design with environmental concerns. She obtained her BS in general engineering and MS in systems and entrepreneurial engineering from the University of Illinois.

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Cole H Joslyn Purdue University

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Cole Joslyn is a doctoral student in the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University. His research interests include engineering as a socially just profession in service to humanity and holistic approaches to engineering education such as ethics of care, humanistic education, and spirituality. He holds a B.S. in Industrial Engineering and a M.Ed. specializing in math education and has worked as an engineer, a pastor, and a high school math teacher.

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Corey A Mathis Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Corey A. Mathis earned her B.S. in biology and her M.E.D. in secondary education from Northern Arizona University. Prior to returning to school to obtain a PhD in engineering education at Purdue University, Corey spent nine years as a 7-12 grade Arizona science teacher. While at Purdue she has developed a course for Engineering Technology Pathways in addition to bring statistic to science classrooms though teacher outreach programs.

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Emilie A Siverling Purdue University

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Emilie A. Siverling is a Ph.D. Student in Engineering Education at Purdue University. She received a B.S. in Materials Science and Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and she is a former high school chemistry and physics teacher. Her research interests are in K-12 STEM integration, primarily using engineering design to support secondary science curricula and instruction.

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Natascha Trellinger Buswell Purdue University, West Lafayette Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-8503-5787

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Natascha Trellinger is a first year PhD student in the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University. She received her BS in aerospace engineering from Syracuse University. At Purdue, Natascha is a part of the Global Engineering Education Collaboratory (GEEC) and is interested in global teaching and learning at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

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M. D. Wilson Purdue University

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MICHAEL WILSON is an Adjunct faculty member in the College of Technology and Ph.D. candidate at Purdue University in the College of Engineering. He earned a Bachelors of Science from the University of Massachusetts and a Masters from the University of Chicago; his broad research interests include Engineering Education, Network Science, and Modeling Human Sociometrics.

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Abstract

A  community  of  practice  approach  to  becoming  an  engineering  education  research  professional    Engineering   education   research   is   an   emerging   profession   that   brings   together  methods,  tools,  and  concepts  from  many  disciplines.    Entering  graduate  students  are  brought   into   new   bodies   of   knowledge,   methods,   language,   and   concepts   that   may  require   significant   shifts   in   how   they   think   about   the   scholarships   of   discovery,  application,   and   impact.       Similarly,   in   more   established   disciplines,   graduate  students   are   brought   into   relatively   defined   and   stable   ideas   about   research   that  may   be   so   tacit   and   deeply   embedded   that   it   can   be   difficult   to   gain   access   to   and  learn  about  the  principles  that  guide  scholarly.    In  graduate  education,  the  community  of  practice  framework  can  be  a  useful  model  for  designing  learning  experiences  that  bring  new  people  into  a  profession  and  support  their  development  of  professional  ways  of  thinking,  acting,  and  being.    The  community  of  practice  framework  is  a  form  of  cognitive  apprenticeship  in  which  experts  (old-­‐timers)  model  their  approaches  to  novices  (newcomers),  performing  a  task  such  that  newcomers  can  build  their  own  mental  models  on  what  is  required  to  accomplish  the  same  task.    This  makes  visible  the  how,  when,  and  about  what  that  shapes  what  old-­‐timers  do  in  everyday  professional  work  and  what  is  involved  in  being  a  member  of  a  community  of  practice.      It  also  helps  newcomers  see  that  learning  is  about  growth  and  that  making  mistakes  is  a  natural  part  of  the  learning  process  –  getting  beyond  naïve  beliefs  about  “good  performance”  as  a  smooth  and  easy  process.          In  this  paper  we  describe  a  one  credit  50-­‐minute  course,  in  which  research  faculty  have  20  minutes  each  to  share  the  behind-­‐the-­‐scenes  backstory  of  one  of  their  own  research   publications   (including   works-­‐in-­‐progress)   –   the   motivation   behind   the  study,  the  theories  that  guided  the  study,  the  collaboration  experience,  the  process  for   building   and   substantiating   findings,   the   choices   made   to   communicate   the  impact   of   the   work,   and   the   various   failures   and   false   starts   experienced   over   the  study   timeline.     They   were   also   encouraged   to   share   their   approaches   to  apprenticing   protégés   into   the   profession   and   any   lessons   learned   about   the  research  endeavor  including  ways  to  link  research  and  practice.    Students  read  the  two   papers   and   post   a   reflection   on   a   Blackboard   discussion   board   focusing   on  issues  in  the  papers  they  would  like  to  hear  about,  and  then  engage  in  an  open  and  informal   discussion   of   the   behind-­‐the-­‐scene   story   of   scholarly   research   in  engineering  education.        We   describe   the   critical   elements   of   the   course   including   the   theories   used   to   shape  the   course,   the   activities   and   learning   objectives,   and   the   course   outcomes.    Outcomes  of  the  experience  are  summarized  in  terms  of  (1)  the  kinds  of  questions  or   issues   students   wanted   to   hear,   (2)   the   kinds   of   stories   faculty   shared,   and   (3)  what   students   took   away   form   the   course   regarding   what   it   means   to   be   an  engineering   education   professional   and   what   it   means   to   connect   research   and  practice.     Overall,   our   experience   suggests   that   this   apprenticeship   model   is   a   low  investment  but  high  impact  approach  to  preparing  future  professionals.  

Adams, R., & Berdanier, C. G., & Branham, P. A., & Choudhary, N., & Fletcher, T. L., & Goldstein, M. H., & Joslyn, C. H., & Mathis, C. A., & Siverling, E. A., & Buswell, N. T., & Wilson, M. D. (2014, June), A Community of Practice Approach to Becoming an Engineering Education Research Professional Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. https://peer.asee.org/19923

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