June 18, 2006
June 18, 2006
June 21, 2006
Educational Research and Methods
11.437.1 - 11.437.13
Developing an Engineering Education Research Community of Practice through a Structured Workshop Curriculum Abstract-- This paper reports initial assessment and research results from the NSF- funded Rigorous Research in Engineering Education (RREE) workshops. The workshops are funded for three years (from 2004 to 2006), and the workshop experience includes both a 5-day summer workshop and a year-long experience that allows participants to conduct a small education research project guided by a more experienced mentor. This paper focuses on the results of the 2004 and 2005 RREE workshops and changes made to the 2005 workshop to promote a community of practice. Implications are also drawn for those interested in building engineering education research capacity.
Three important changes were made to the workshop format to further promote formation of a community of practice in 2005. • Allowing participants to group themselves into “intellectual neighborhoods” by self-selecting other participants with similar or complementary interests. • Using participant-created posters both as performance outcomes, and as a venue for sharing ideas and obtaining feedback from fellow participants and workshop facilitators. (This included formal presentations at the end of the workshop.) • Structuring a research methods session around facilitator-defined participant groups with similar research interests.
Initial results indicate that activities in the original workshop structure as well as the updates helped participants to focus on engineering education research questions of personal interest while building a community that extends beyond the week-long workshop.
1. Introduction Calls for embracing more rigorous research in engineering education are emerging with increasing frequency [1-5]. The Journal of Engineering Education has reinvented itself as a research-based journal [6-7]. Both Lee Schulman of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and Gary Gabriele of the National Science Foundation chose this venue to argue in editorials that the same standards of rigor applied to technical engineering research need now be applied to engineering education [4-5]. Gabriele also explained that the Engineering Education and Centers Division of the National Science Foundation has “moved its engineering education programs from a focus on reform to an emphasis on research.” . Likewise, national reports and commissions originating in the education disciplines are also calling for more rigorous education research, specifically the National Research Council (NRC) reports How People Learn  and Scientific Research in Education .
In response to calls such as these and the urgent need for rigorous engineering education research conducted by engineering faculty knowledgeable about the state-of-the-art in education research methods, the National Science Foundation has funded “Rigorous
Borrego, M., & Streveler, R., & Chism, N., & Smith, K., & Miller, R. (2006, June), Developing An Engineering Education Research Community Of Practice Through A Structured Workshop Curriculum Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--607
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