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Engineering Faculty Professional Development: Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SOTL) Dissemination for Curriculum Integrating Entrepreneurial Mindset, STEAM, and Bio-Inspired Design

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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) Technical Session 6

Tagged Division

Faculty Development Division (FDD)

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Paper Authors


Lisa Bosman Purdue University at West Lafayette

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Dr. Bosman holds a PhD in Industrial Engineering. Her engineering education research interests include entrepreneurially minded learning, energy education, interdisciplinary education, and faculty professional development.

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Katey Shirey eduKatey LLC, STEAM Education Services Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Katey Shirey, founder of eduKatey, LLC in DC, combines expertise in science, art, engineering, and education to work with educators in the USA and abroad. She holds a B.A. in physics, a B.A. in sculpture, and an M.T. in secondary science education from the University of Virginia; a Ph.D. in education from the University of Maryland; and is a certified STEAM integration specialist. Dr. Shirey is passionate about helping teachers and students grapple with complex problems in novel ways, such as using science and math content with art practices and awareness to approach real-world engineering challenges.

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Alejandra J. Magana Purdue University, West Lafayette Orcid 16x16

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Alejandra J. Magana, Ph.D., is the W.C. Furnas Professor in Enterprise Excellence in the Department of Computer and Information Technology with a courtesy appointment at the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University. She holds a B.E. in Informa

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Nathalie Duval-Couetil Purdue University, West Lafayette Orcid 16x16

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Nathalie Duval-Couetil is the Director of the Certificate in Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program, Associate Director of the Burton D. Morgan Center, and a Professor in the Department of Technology Leadership and Innovation at Purdue University. She is

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The Entrepreneurship for All movement has many universities and communities offering campus-wide initiatives in the form of new centers, degrees, minors, courses, accelerator programs, and student organizations. Many engineering faculty are becoming involved in teaching entrepreneurial thinking due to the connection between engineering design and opportunity recognition, often associated with entrepreneurship. Moreover, the Kern Entrepreneurial Engineering Network (KEEN) has made significant investments in helping engineering educators develop and assess entrepreneurially-minded curricula. However, dissemination and sharing practices have yet to be fully optimized across engineering faculty and their institutions.

The dissemination of best teaching practices can be done through a variety of formats. Yet, within the academic setting, journal manuscripts and conference proceedings are the most well-documented approaches to provide evidence of teaching and research excellence for faculty promotion and tenure (P&T) portfolio documents. For engineering faculty with formal training in engineering education research (EER), demonstrating effective teaching practices can be straightforward. However, engineering faculty with more formal technical or disciplinary training might find it more efficient to document best teaching practices through the scholarship of teaching and learning (SOTL). SOTL investigates student learning and satisfaction based on innovative teaching interventions with the purpose of sharing best practices and lessons learned from an educator perspective. In contrast, EER extends SOTL to investigate learning which happens outside the classroom, consider factors beyond student learning and satisfaction, and understand broader theoretical questions of how and why.

The overarching goal of this paper is to showcase the findings from a cohort-based engineering faculty professional development experience which has two key components: curriculum development and SOTL dissemination. This professional development experience was offered virtually, thus, increasing access to engineering faculty at colleges across the U.S., both within and outside the KEEN network.

For the curriculum development, faculty participants completed training on how bio-inspired design and STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, math) can be coupled with the entrepreneurial mindset to broaden engineering participation using a transdisciplinary, humanistic approach. Part of the training included implementing the new curriculum in the engineering classroom and assessing student learning to better understand student perceptions of the new curriculum. The focus on bio-inspired design, STEAM, and the entrepreneurial mindset were intentional for the following reasons. First, developing aspiring engineers’ entrepreneurial mindsets encourages students to seek the “sweet spot” between customer viability, technological feasibility, and business viability, ideally creating a valuable design with high innovation and impact. Second, bio-inspired design is the development of technologies to improve the environment or human’s quality of life, which can create a relevant and engaging learning space. It allows engineering instructors and engineering students, alike, the opportunity to explore how holistic assets can support innovation. The focus on bio-inspired design is intentional as it has immediate connections to nature- and human-centered design, applicable to most (if not all) engineering disciplines. Third, the integration of STEAM with a particular emphasis on the arts encourages transdisciplinary problem-solving. In addition, the use of STEAM promotes connections across a variety of technical and humanities-focused disciplines, bringing together a diversity of perspectives, frameworks, and paradigms. As a result, applying STEAM together with bio-inspired design and the entrepreneurial mindset has the capacity to broaden participation among persons traditionally underrepresented in STEM, including women and minoritized populations.

For the SOTL dissemination, faculty participants completed training on how to write-up and disseminate SOTL research. Part of the training required participants to use the assessment data collected from the newly developed and implemented curriculum to draft an ASEE conference proceeding. Participants worked in small virtual writing groups (VWG) to develop and receive feedback on a manuscript interpreting and showcasing student assessment of learning.

This paper also demonstrates how KEEN’s priorities of teaching entrepreneurially-minded curriculum can be aligned with the promotion and tenure (P&T) processes common at most higher education institutions. Simply put, this professional development experience offers another value proposition for engineering educators to leverage involvement in entrepreneurship education through an activity and a potential paper related to best teaching practices on their P&T portfolio documents.

In the final version of the paper, we will report metrics of completion regarding attendance at the workshop. We will also report on faculty members who developed a lesson and those who implemented it into their courses. In addition, we will report on faculty members who took the next step to prepare a manuscript reporting on their implementations. Finally, we will report on faculty members’ perceptions of the usefulness of this approach to engage in SOTL.

Bosman, L., & Shirey, K., & Magana, A. J., & Duval-Couetil, N. (2023, June), Engineering Faculty Professional Development: Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SOTL) Dissemination for Curriculum Integrating Entrepreneurial Mindset, STEAM, and Bio-Inspired Design Paper presented at 2023 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Baltimore , Maryland. 10.18260/1-2--43306

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