Asee peer logo

Impact of an Embedded Expert Model on Course Transformation in Engineering

Download Paper |


2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

Writers, Experts, and the Workforce in Civil Engineering

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

Page Count




Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Molly McVey University of Kansas

visit author page

Dr. Molly A. McVey is a post-doctoral teaching fellow at the University of Kansas School of Engineering where she works with faculty to incorporate evidence-based and student-centered teaching methods, and to research the impacts of changes made to teaching on student learning and success. Dr. McVey earned her Ph.D in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Kansas.

visit author page


Caroline R. Bennett P.E. University of Kansas

visit author page

Caroline is the John E. & Winifred E. Sharp Associate Professor in the KU Civil, Environmental, and Architectural Engineering department, with a specialty in structural engineering and bridge structures. She works closely with KU Engineering’s post-doctoral Teaching Fellow and oversees the overall Engaged Learning Initiative in the School of Engineering. Caroline is responsible for overseeing KU Engineering’s active-learning classroom design and usage, prioritizing course assignments in the active-learning classrooms, helping faculty to advance their pedagogy by incorporating best practices, and advancing implementation of student-centered, active-learning approaches in the School of Engineering. Caroline is also active in contributing to university-level discussions in the area of course redesign, and has been closely involved with the KU Center for Teaching Excellence since 2006. She regularly teaches courses in bridge engineering, steel buildings, structural analysis, fatigue and fracture, elastic stability, and how to be an effective college teacher.

visit author page


Andrea Follmer Greenhoot University of Kansas

visit author page

Andrea Follmer Greenhoot is Professor of Psychology, Director of the Center for Teaching Excellence and Gautt Teaching Scholar at the University of Kansas. Her research in psychology is on cognitive development and memory. Her work with the Center for Teaching Excellence explores how we can transform learning experiences for university students that are grounded in cognitive and developmental science and mindful of the challenges they will face in the future.

visit author page

Download Paper |


The School of Engineering has prioritized course transformation through an “Engaged Learning Initiative,” and a partnership with a larger, multi-institutional NSF grant aimed at investigating an “embedded expert” model as a catalyst for change. This paper describes the implementation of the embedded expert model as implemented in this institution and the impact of this model on course transformation, faculty engagement with teaching excellence, and student success.

The embedded expert in this model is a “post-doctoral teaching fellow” with an educational background in Mechanical Engineering. The role, however, was to develop as an expert in and to support engineering education across the entire School of Engineering. The main roles of the post-doctoral teaching fellow position include: 1) consultation with faculty on course transformation, 2) development and management of the Undergraduate Teaching Fellows (UGTF) program, 3) analysis of student learning and publication of engineering education research, and 4) development of a community of practice around teaching excellence in the School. The embedded expert model has been in place since Fall 2014.

The embedded expert in Engineering was one of 11 of these positions across the University as part of the larger NSF project. The larger project supported the development of a University-wide community of practice around excellence in teaching, supported course transformation grants for faculty across the University, and developed a Teaching Scholarship community for the embedded experts and others in similar roles.

The impact of the embedded expert will be examined for the School of Engineering. The impact of the model will be described in terms of 1) course transformation activity, 2) development and impact of the UGTF program, 3) engineering education research involvement, and 4) school-wide measures of student success. Course transformation activity will be measured by the number of courses and instructors involved in course transformation each year of the embedded expert program, and by a description and count of the scope of transformations undertaken. Additionally, changes in teaching practices across the school, as evidenced by the COPUS (Course Observation Protocol for Undergraduate STEM), will be presented. The growth and training program developed for the UGTF program will be described, as well as survey data from students, those in UGTF roles, and faculty. Engineering Education research involvement will be described in terms of counts of activity and involvement in the community of practice around Engineering Education. School-wide indicators of student success will be examined in terms of DFW rates in particular courses. Finally, the authors will reflect on survey results from faculty who interacted with the embedded expert to understand what aspects of the embedded expert model were most critical to success.

McVey, M., & Bennett, C. R., & Greenhoot, A. F. (2019, June), Impact of an Embedded Expert Model on Course Transformation in Engineering Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32921

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: © 2019 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