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Board 116: Lessons Learned: Building Our Capacity to Engage in Engineering Education Research

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2023 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Baltimore , Maryland

Publication Date

June 25, 2023

Start Date

June 25, 2023

End Date

June 28, 2023

Conference Session

Faculty Development Division (FDD) Poster Session

Tagged Division

Faculty Development Division (FDD)

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Paper Authors


John Sangster Northeastern University Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Sangster is an Associate Teaching Professor in the First Year Engineering program at Northeastern University. He previously worked at the University of Nebraska and spent seven years as a practicing civil engineer.

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Andrew L. Gillen Northeastern University Orcid 16x16

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Andrew L. Gillen is an Assistant Teaching Professor at Northeastern University in the First Year Engineering Program and an affiliate faculty member to Civil and Environmental Engineering. He earned his Ph.D. in Engineering Education from Virginia Tech and B.S. in Civil Engineering from Northeastern University.

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Aileen Huang-Saad Northeastern University

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In February 2021 Dr. Huang-Saad joined the Bioengineering faculty at Northeastern University and became the Director
of Life Sciences and Engineering Programs at The Roux Institute (Portland, Maine). Dr. Huang-Saad has a fourteen-
year history of bringi

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At the national level, there has been a significant investment in changing the way we teach engineering in higher education. As a result, there has been a rise in programs that support the implementation of evidence-based teaching practices, the scholarship of teaching and learning, and engineering education research. While these formal programs are undoubtedly valuable, developing these initiatives poses significant challenges for institutions. Moreover, a structured approach is limited in its potential for transformational change. Rather, for many, a more organic approach to developing a community of practice around engineering education research is needed. This lessons learned paper documents the ongoing work to formalize a community of practice around engineering education research. This work takes place within a private Tier 1 multi campus, global research university that does not already have a formal engineering education program. The primary campus of the University is in the northeastern United States, with multiple campuses located around the country, as well as internationally. Our work is situated in the area of communities of practice, and the paper will reflect on the existing literature in this area. Our initiative was launched with the award of an institutional “mutual mentoring” grant of $3,000. The goal of our group is to support the growth of a community of practice within our university network in the area of engineering education research. This project was motivated by the idea that many faculty at the University were already engaged in or interested in exploring engineering education research, however, there is a need to coalesce these disjoint efforts. In doing do, we seek to build on our strengths and envision new opportunities. After bringing together a core group of interested members, we brainstormed a set of activities around which to frame our community-building experience. The larger community of faculty engaged with engineering education was surveyed about key interest areas for talks and workshops, and three external speakers were selected to present during the fall semester. The spring semester will follow up on this speaker series with one or more on-the-ground workshops. The purpose of presenting this work at ASEE is to provide a roadmap for other faculty interested in organically strengthening the ties between their own communities of engineering education researchers. It is our hope that through community building that we, and other universities, might increase collaboration in the area of engineering education research, expanding and improving upon the current research being conducted in a more isolated fashion.

We would like to present this work as a poster presentation.

Sangster, J., & Gillen, A. L., & Huang-Saad, A. (2023, June), Board 116: Lessons Learned: Building Our Capacity to Engage in Engineering Education Research Paper presented at 2023 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Baltimore , Maryland.

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