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Informal Learning in Engineering

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

June 29, 2016





Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session II

Tagged Topics

Diversity and NSF Grantees Poster Session

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Paper Authors


Aditya Johri George Mason University Orcid 16x16

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Aditya Johri is Associate Professor in the Department of Information Sciences and Technology at George Mason University. Dr. Johri studies the use of information and communication technologies (ICT) for learning and knowledge sharing, with a focus on cognition in informal environments. He also examine the role of ICT in supporting distributed work among globally dispersed workers and in furthering social development in emerging economies. He received the U.S. National Science Foundation’s Early Career Award in 2009. He is co-editor of the Cambridge Handbook of Engineering Education Research (CHEER) published by Cambridge University Press, New York, NY. Dr. Johri earned his Ph.D. in Learning Sciences and Technology Design at Stanford University and a B.Eng. in Mechanical Engineering at Delhi College of Engineering.

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Lori C. Bland George Mason University Orcid 16x16

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Lori C. Bland, Ph.D., is an associate professor at George Mason University. She teaches courses in educational assessment, program evaluation, and data-driven decision-making. Bland received her Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from the University of Virginia. Her current research focuses on identifying, examining, and assessing learning and professional outcomes in formal and informal learning environments in K-12, higher education, and the workforce; how data is used from assessments to inform decision-making; and the application of assessment or evaluation methods to solve educational problems.

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Stephanie Marie Kusano University of Michigan

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Stephanie Kusano is an assessment and evaluation postdoctoral research associate at the Center for Research on Learning and Teaching at University of Michigan. She has a Ph.D. in Engineering Education, M.S. in Biomedical Engineering, and B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, all from Virginia Tech. Her research interests include engaged learning and high impact practices, assessment, and design education. Her teaching experience has primarily been with first-year engineering.

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With new technological developments and non-curricular resources and opportunities, sites of engineering work and learning have expanded. There is now a greater need to better understand how students learn engineering across different contexts, both formally designed and informal opportunities. In this paper we present a review of current literature on informal learning in engineering and outline a framework, drawn from the situated learning paradigm, for better understanding informal learning within engineering. We present findings from preliminary empirical research we have undertaken. Our review and preliminary studies provide evidence for the efficacy of informal opportunities for improving engineering learning. Finally, we discuss directions for future theoretical and empirical work.

Johri, A., & Bland, L. C., & Kusano, S. M. (2016, June), Informal Learning in Engineering Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.25687

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