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Building Research Skills through Being a Peer Reviewer

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Conference

2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Enhancing Teaching and Research

Tagged Division

New Engineering Educators

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

16

DOI

10.18260/1-2--36769

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/36769

Download Count

30

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Paper Authors

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Lisa Benson Clemson University

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Lisa Benson is a Professor of Engineering and Science Education at Clemson University, and the Editor of the Journal of Engineering Education. Her research focuses on the interactions between student motivation and their learning experiences. Her projects focus on student perceptions, beliefs and attitudes towards becoming engineers and scientists, development of problem solving skills, self-regulated learning, and epistemic beliefs. She earned a B.S. in Bioengineering from the University of Vermont, and M.S. and Ph.D. in Bioengineering from Clemson University.

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Rebecca A. Bates Minnesota State University, Mankato

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Rebecca A. Bates received the Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Washington. She also received the M.T.S. degree from Harvard Divinity School. She is currently Professor and Chair of the Department of Integrated Engineering program at Minnesota State University, Mankato, home of the Iron Range, Twin Cities and Bell Engineering programs.

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Karin Jensen University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-9456-5042

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Karin Jensen, Ph.D. is a Teaching Assistant Professor in bioengineering at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Her research interests include student mental health and wellness, engineering student career pathways, and engagement of engineering faculty in engineering education research. She was awarded a CAREER award from the National Science Foundation for her research on undergraduate mental health in engineering programs. Before joining UIUC she completed a post-doctoral fellowship at Sanofi Oncology in Cambridge, MA. She earned a bachelor's degree in biological engineering from Cornell University and a Ph.D. in biomedical engineering from the University of Virginia.

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Gary Lichtenstein Arizona State University

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Gary Lichtenstein, Ed.D., Director of Program Effectiveness for the Entrepreneurial Mindset initiative at the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering at Arizona State University. He is also and founder and principal of Quality Evaluation Designs, a firm specializing in research and evaluation for K-12 schools, universities, and government and non-profit organizations nationwide. He specializes in entrepreneurship education, research and evaluation methods, and STEM retention.

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Kelsey Watts Clemson University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-4481-6303

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Kelsey Watts is a fourth year Ph.D. student in Bioengineering at Clemson Univerity. She is currently part of the EER Peer Review Training (PERT) research project team to investigate how EER scholars develop the schema for reviewing manuscripts and proposals. She is also developing Systems Biology outreach modules focused on computational skill development for Clemson's Emerging Scholars program.

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Mia Ko University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign

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Mia is a 4th year undergraduate student studying Bioengineering with a minor in Material Science and Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign. On campus, she actively participates as an Engineering Ambassador: encouraging younger students’ interest in STEM related fields while changing the definition and conversation of what it means to be an engineer. Her research interests include motivation and STEM curriculum development and evaluation. She is very excited to be a part of this community and hopes to spark the interest of engineering education research within her peer groups and to return to education after industry experience.

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Balsam Albayati

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Abstract

Reviewing scholarship in one’s field is generally assumed to help build and strengthen research skills. We have seen this assumption evident anecdotally in conversations with peers and in messages from journals and peer review training programs. Yet there is little to no empirical evidence to support this assumption, or to explain the mechanisms for how one’s research skills might be strengthened. In an effort to fill that gap in knowledge, we examined feedback from participants in a peer reviewer mentoring program organized by the Journal of Engineering Education (JEE). We first examine responses to questions on the application form to participate in this program as mentees. In response to the question “Why are you interested in learning more about the review process?,” the majority of mentee applicants (25 out of 34) indicated that they were seeking to strengthen their own research skills and apply what they learn to their own research. Typical responses identified improving the quality of their writing, creativity, and complexity of thinking. Most stated that feedback they received on their own work, particularly constructive feedback, improves the quality of their research and writing. Some applicants cited the desire to become more familiar with terminology and research methods that are new to them as education researchers. We will be examining feedback on exit interviews from participants in this program to gain insight into how the peer review process influenced their own research skills. We anticipate that these will be similar to those shared by participants in the Publons Academy, a peer review training program, such as “This new knowledge of peer review has contributed to improving my own manuscripts as well: I can now think about the different types of article flaws from the perspective of a reviewer and author. Also, being critical of one’s own research leads to self-improvement” (https://publons.com/blog/starting-out-in-peer-review-putting-skills-into-practice/). We are identifying the information, structures, processes and practices that participants felt influenced their own knowledge of engineering education research and their confidence in their own research skills and productivity. This work in progress serves as a pilot study for a larger research study on longitudinal effects on researchers’ productivity and the impact of their work, differences in these factors for those who review journal manuscripts and those who review grant proposals, and what aspects of peer review training (knowledge, resources, collaborations, etc.) participants actually carry forward in their own research.

Benson, L., & Bates, R. A., & Jensen, K., & Lichtenstein, G., & Watts, K., & Ko, M., & Albayati, B. (2021, July), Building Research Skills through Being a Peer Reviewer Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--36769

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: © 2021 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