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Delivering Engineering Education Research Findings To The Practitioners: A New Workshop Model Approach

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2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

Educational Research

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Page Count


Page Numbers

15.344.1 - 15.344.13



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Paper Authors

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Cindy Waters North Carolina A&T State University

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Helen Chen Stanford University

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Sheri Sheppard Stanford University

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Delivering Engineering Education Research Findings to the Practitioners: A New Workshop Model Approach


In 2008, the Academic Pathways of People Learning Engineering Survey (APPLES) was deployed to over 4,500 undergraduate students with the goal of contributing to the understanding of: (1) how students’ engineering knowledge develops and changes over time; (2) what motivates students to study engineering; and (3) how students conceive of their engineering future. While the findings from the APPLES research have been disseminated through such traditional venues such as conferences and journal publications, an innovative institution-specific workshop model was designed and piloted in spring 2009. This paper describes this new format for disseminating national research findings which is specifically aimed at engaging faculty in conversations that directly lead to changes in local educational practices and policies. Feedback from the faculty participants and the impact of the workshop on teaching and learning practices in subsequent months are presented. The broader implications of a national-local workshop model for the dissemination of national and international research results in engineering education and as a tool to inform a collective research agenda around these issues are also explored.


A National Study as the Starting Point The Academic Pathways Study (APS) of the National Science Foundation-funded Center for the Advancement of Engineering Education (CAEE) was a cross-university study that systematically examined how engineering students navigate their education, and how engineering skills and identity develop during their undergraduate careers1,2. The APS research is one of three major initiatives of CAEE whose overarching goals are to:

1. Identify ways to boost the numbers of students who complete engineering degrees (including increasing the numbers of women and traditionally underrepresented groups); 2. Better support those enrolled in engineering programs; 3. Encourage greater numbers of students who complete engineering degrees to enter engineering professions

The APS addresses the following fundamental research questions: ≠ SKILLS: How do students’ engineering skills and knowledge develop and/or change over time? How do the technological and mathematical fluencies of engineering students compare with those found in professional engineering settings? ≠ IDENTITY: How do these students come to identify themselves as engineers? How do students’ appreciation, confidence, and commitment to engineering change as they navigate their education? How does this in turn affect how these students make decisions about further participation in engineering after graduation?

Waters, C., & Chen, H., & Sheppard, S. (2010, June), Delivering Engineering Education Research Findings To The Practitioners: A New Workshop Model Approach Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--15807

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