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Best Practices for Developing a Virtual Peer Mentoring Community

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Conference

2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2018

Conference Session

Developing New Engineering Educators

Tagged Division

New Engineering Educators

Page Count

12

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/27655

Download Count

16

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Paper Authors

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Courtney June Faber University of Tennessee

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Courtney is a Research Assistant Professor and Lecturer in the College of Engineering Honors Program at the University of Tennessee. She completed her Ph.D. in Engineering & Science Education at Clemson University. Prior to her Ph.D. work, she received her B.S. in Bioengineering at Clemson University and her M.S. in Biomedical Engineering at Cornell University. Courtney’s research interests include epistemic cognition in the context of problem solving, researcher identity, and mixed methods.

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Courtney S. Smith-Orr University of North Carolina, Charlotte

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Courtney S. Smith,PhD is a Teaching Assistant Professor at UNC Charlotte. Her research interests span the mentoring experiences of African American women in engineering,minority recruitment and retention, and best practices for diversity and inclusion in the Engineering classroom.

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Walter C. Lee Virginia Tech Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-5082-1411

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Dr. Walter Lee is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Engineering Education and the Assistant Director for Research in the Center for the Enhancement of Engineering Diversity (CEED), both at Virginia Tech. His research interests include co-curricular support, student success and retention, and diversity in STEM. Lee received his Ph.D in Engineering Education from Virginia Tech, his M.S. in Industrial & Systems Engineering from Virginia Tech, and his B.S. in Industrial Engineering from Clemson University.

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Cheryl A. Bodnar Rowan University

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Cheryl A. Bodnar, Ph.D., CTDP is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Experiential Engineering Education at Rowan University. Dr. Bodnar’s research interests relate to the incorporation of active learning techniques in undergraduate classes as well as integration of innovation and entrepreneurship into the engineering curriculum. In particular, she is interested in the impact that these tools can have on student perception of the classroom environment, motivation and learning outcomes. She obtained her certification as a Training and Development Professional (CTDP) from the Canadian Society for Training and Development (CSTD) in 2010, providing her with a solid background in instructional design, facilitation and evaluation. She was selected to participate in the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) Frontiers of Engineering Education Symposium in 2013 and awarded the American Society for Engineering Education Educational Research Methods Faculty Apprentice Award in 2014.

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Alexandra Coso Strong Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering

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Alexandra Coso Strong is an assistant professor of systems design and engineering at Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering. Prior to starting a faculty position at Olin, she was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Georgia Tech’s Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning. She completed her Ph.D. in 2014 in Aerospace Engineering at Georgia Tech. Alexandra received her B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from MIT and her M.S. in Systems Engineering from the University of Virginia. Her research interests include engineering design education (especially in regards to the design of complex systems), student preparation for post-graduation careers, approaches for supporting education research-to-practice.

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Erin McCave University of Houston

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Erin is an Instructional Assistant Professor in the Cullen College of Engineering at the University of Houston. She joined the University of Houston after completing a postdoctoral/lecturer position split between the General Engineering program and the Engineering & Science Education Department and a Ph.D. in Bioengineering from Clemson University. Before returning to graduate school for her Ph.D., Erin worked for Merge Healthcare as a Technical Support Analyst in Milwaukee, WI after completing her B.S. in Biomedical Engineering from Michigan Technological University. Erin’s research interests include preparing students for their sophomore year, minority student engineering identity development, and providing mentoring relationships to help foster student growth and success.

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Abstract

Engineering faculty are faced with a variety of challenges ranging from teaching responsibilities, navigating research, and negotiating service demands. Due to the nature of the emerging field of engineering education and the emphasis on education within the ASEE community, there is a need to develop methods to facilitate cross-institutional mentoring. While many institutions offer formal mentoring in some capacity, there are limitations and challenges associated with these support structures. Some common challenges are scheduling a time to meet, navigating institutional power dynamics, and identifying individuals with shared interests and goals. This work proposes best practices for the development of an innovative peer mentoring structure that accounts for shared commitment to the advancement of engineering education.

This paper will provide insight for engineering education faculty who are currently transitioning into or are planning to pursue a career in academia in the future. We will describe a framework to create a virtual community for peer mentoring. The value of a virtual peer mentoring community is that it can provide support that may not be available within one’s institution and it minimizes the negative impacts that may be associated with institutional power dynamics. The best practices that we will describe are informed by six early career engineering education faculty that developed and participated in a virtual community over the last two years. We will describe best practices in relation to identifying a shared vision, developing possible tangible outcomes, writing operating procedures for the group, selecting an appropriate platform for communication, and facilitating reflection and changes to practice.

Faber, C. J., & Smith-Orr, C. S., & Lee, W. C., & Bodnar, C. A., & Strong, A. C., & McCave, E. (2017, June), Best Practices for Developing a Virtual Peer Mentoring Community Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. https://peer.asee.org/27655

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2017 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015