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Enhancing Engineering Education Research Capacity Through Building A Community Of Practice

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Building New Communities

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.568.1 - 10.568.8



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Paper Authors

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Karl Smith

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Ronald Miller

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Ruth Streveler

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

Enhancing Engineering Education Research Capacity through Building a Community of Practice

Ruth A. Streveler, Karl A. Smith, Ronald L. Miller Colorado School of Mines/University of Minnesota/Colorado School of Mines


This paper focuses on the NSF-funded Rigorous Research in Engineering Education (RREE) workshops and how the Community of Practice (CoP) model of Wenger, McDermott, and Snyder was used to create a partnership that produced the RREE workshops. Specifically, the paper will discuss how organizational partnerships were formed, how the RREE workshops were structured to promote a CoP among workshop participants, and implications of this work for others who would like to use the CoP model to expand their own communities.

Introduction Calls for embracing more rigorous research in engineering education are emerging with increasing frequency. For example, the Journal of Engineering Education is repositioning itself as an archival journal for scholarly research in engineering education [1]. The journal now provides a forum for reporting on research that meets criteria such as those set forth by Diamond and Adam [2] and updated by Diamond [3]:

1. Requires a high level of discipline-related expertise 2. Is conducted in a scholarly manner with clear goals, adequate preparation, and appropriate methodology 3. Is appropriately and effectively documented and includes a reflective critique that addresses the significance of the work, the process used, and what was learned 4. Has significance beyond the individual context 5. Breaks new ground or is innovative 6. Can be replicated or elaborated upon 7. Is judged to be meritorious and significant by a rigorous peer review process.

In response to calls such as this 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 Research in Engineering Education: Creating a Community of Practice” (DUE-0341127). The goals of this project are to: • Create and present workshops for engineering faculty on conducting rigorous research in engineering education. Five-day workshops are held in Golden, Colorado each summer from 2004 through 2006 to train faculty participants. For more details see the project website [4]. • Sustain the development of this project through establishing a community of practice. The foundation for this aspect of the project is the work of Wenger and his colleagues. [5, 6]

Furthermore, we aim to collaborate with projects and initiatives that have similar goals, such as: o Center for the Advancement of Engineering Education (CAEE) Scholarship on Engineering Education Institutes

Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference and Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education

Smith, K., & Miller, R., & Streveler, R. (2005, June), Enhancing Engineering Education Research Capacity Through Building A Community Of Practice Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14302

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: © 2005 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