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Faculty Motivations and Barriers for Engineering Education Research

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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

Faculty Development Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

Faculty Development Division

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

5

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/37184

Download Count

25

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Paper Authors

biography

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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Joseph Francis Mirabelli University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign

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Joseph Mirabelli is an Educational Psychology graduate student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a focus in Engineering Education. His interests are centered around mentorship, mental health, and retention in STEM students and faculty. He was awarded the 2019 NAGAP Graduate Education Gold Research Grant award to study engineering faculty perceptions of graduate student well-being and attrition. Before studying education at UIUC, Joseph earned an MS degree in Physics from Indiana University in Bloomington and a BS in Engineering Physics at UIUC.

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Allyson Jo Barlow University of Nevada, Reno

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Ally Barlow graduated with her Doctoral Degree in Civil Engineering from Oregon State University, where she fused her technical background with her passion for education; her doctoral research focused on the exploration of student engagement from multiple methodological standpoints. Now she works as a Postdoctoral Scholar at University of Nevada Reno, expanding her knowledge of the field through work on faculty-faculty mentorship modes. Her research interests include student cognitive engagement and teacher best practices for in-class and out-of-class learning.

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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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Kelly J. Cross University of Nevada, Reno

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Dr. Cross is currently an Assistant Professor in the Chemical and Materials Engineering Department at the University Nevada Reno. After completing her PhD in Engineering Education at Virginia Tech in 2015, Dr. Cross worked as a post-doctoral researcher with the Illinois Foundry for Innovation in Engineering Education and in the Department of Bioengineering with the Revolutionizing Engineering Departments (RED) grant at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Cross' scholarship investigated student teams in engineering, faculty communities of practice, and the intersectionality of multiple identity dimensions. Her research interests include diversity and inclusion in STEM, intersectionality, teamwork and communication skills, assessment, and identity construction. Her teaching philosophy focuses on student centered approaches such as culturally relevant pedagogy. Dr. Cross' complimentary professional activities promote inclusive excellence through collaboration.

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Abstract

The current project is a work in progresses of understanding faculty motivations and barriers oof entering engineering education research. Founded in the synergy of theoretical scholarship and practical application, engineering education research (EER) has recently emerged as a discipline to study how engineering classrooms can be modified towards benefitting students. As a new discipline, entrance into EER occurs through multiple avenues. While traditional graduate programs train some engineering education researchers using established models, others enter the field by transitioning their research interest. Little research has explored the motivation of faculty who transition their research focus towards EER. Thus, the current project uses expectancy value theory as a guiding framework to identify how motivations and barriers of entering EER influence faculty’s level of participation with EER. A few barriers concluded by our previous work include unfamiliarity with EER language and qualitative methods, and limited support from institutions. Because of these challenges, programs such as the Research Initiation in Engineering Formation (RIEF) funded by the National Science Foundation aim to train faculty in EER through peer mentorship. Four participants were selected based on their responses to a demographic survey in order to represent varying levels of experience and interest in EER. The first participant was a faculty member whose primary research is not EER, but was interested and had not already applied to a program such as the RIEF to begin their involvement. The second participant was a faculty member whose primary research was not EER, but had added EER to their research. A faculty member who had made a career switch from a non-engineering education discipline to EER was the third participant and the final participant was a faculty member whose primary research was not EER, was interested in engineering education scholarship, however, was not looking to participate in EER. These cases were analyzed comparatively with four in-depth qualitative interviews. Interviews were semi-structured and designed to explore faculty’s general motivations for academia and the relationship between their interests and understanding of EER. Initial questions discuss the relationship between faculty background and their level of familiarity with EER. These questions transition into further discussion about career goals and perceptions of EER: “What perceptions of EER do you have that restrict or benefit your career?” Transcribed interviews were coded and thematically analyzed to classify and relate motivations and barriers to active participation with EER. Analyzing these perceived values of EER, we explain why faculty are either motivated or not to engage with the research. By understanding the current project’s findings, we can better target prospective participants in programs like the RIEF, provide needed resources, and expand the EER community. Continuous and following work on the current project may create more awareness of the importance and benefits of participating with EER to more engineering faculty and, ultimately, positively impact the quality of education for students at large. Study design and preliminary data collection procedures are presented.

Ko, M., & Mirabelli, J. F., & Barlow, A. J., & Jensen, K., & Cross, K. J. (2021, July), Faculty Motivations and Barriers for Engineering Education Research Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/37184

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