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Is the Engineering Education Community Becoming More Interdisciplinary?

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Conference

2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Research in Engineering Education II

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Page Count

33

Page Numbers

25.864.1 - 25.864.33

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/21621

Download Count

32

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Paper Authors

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Johannes Strobel Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Johannes Strobel is Director of INSPIRE, Institute for P-12 Engineering Research and Learning, and Assistant Professor of engineering education and learning design and technology at Purdue University. NSF and several private foundations fund his research. His research and teaching focuses on policy of P-12 engineering, how to support teachers and students' academic achievements through engineering learning, the measurement and support of change of habits of mind, particularly in regards to sustainability and the use of cyber-infrastructure to sensitively and resourcefully provide access to and support learning of complexity.

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David F. Radcliffe Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Ji Hyun Yu Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Ji Hyun Yu is a Ph.D candidate in learning design and technology at Purdue University. She has been involved in several projects, including Web 2.0-supported collaborative learning, engineering-related beliefs (i.e. personal epistemology ontology), scientific collaboration in EER using bibliometric methods, and K-6 teacher competency modeling using a Delphi method.

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Sadia Nawaz Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Sadia Nawaz graduated from Purdue University with master's of science in electrical and computer engineering (MSECE). Her research interests include citation analysis, social network analysis, database systems, and embedded systems. Currently, she is working as a Data Management Consultant for the VOSS project in Purdue University. Prior to joining Purdue, she completed her B.Sc. and M.Sc. degrees in electrical engineering from the University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore, Pakistan.

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Yi Luo Purdue University

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Yi Luo is a Ph.D. student in learning, design, and technology at Purdue University.

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Jea Hong Choi Purdue University

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Jea Hong Choi is a doctoral candidate in the learning design and technology program at Purdue University. Specifically, Choi is interested in online learning motivation, social presence, and social network analysis.

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Abstract

Is the Engineering Education Community Becoming More Interdisciplinary?The transformative potential of technology-enabled communication argues for creating andextending interdisciplinary collaboration among researchers in Engineering Education Research(EER). However, there is a need to establish a theoretical framework to understand and supportthe emergence and sustainability of virtual research collaboration, informally between networksof colleagues and formally within established teams and organizations in EER. A conceptualframework is presented addressing virtual collaboration effectiveness for interdisciplinarity ofEER.Building on prior theoretical and methodological insights from social studies of science andbibliometrics, we address the following research questions: What quantity and types ofengineering education research are currently being done across disciplines (fields)? If significantlocal variations are detected, how do we account for them? What collaborative trends are nowevident in engineering education research, including in terms of the size and interdisciplinarycomposition of research teams?To answer these questions, we have considered that measuring the intellectual diversity encodedin publication records as a proxy to the degree of interdisciplinarity has recently receivedconsiderable attention in the science mapping community. This approach successfully combinedqualitative and quantitative dimensions of diversity, as it consisted of (1) developing a sciencemap, (2) representing the publication record in terms of the map, and (3) subjecting the latterrepresentation to quantitative analysis that was, in turn, sensitive to structural features of themap.Aiming at developing the indicators of interdisciplinarity in the field of Engineering EER, theauthors developed a keyword-based scheme, as a parsimonious list of salient keywords in EER,by collecting bibliographic records from ISI Web of Science® that is a citation index providingaccess to the world’s leading citation databases and journals.Our findings are organized in three main parts. We used co-citation patterns across SubjectCategories (SCs), target subjects (i.e. K-12, higher education, life-long learners), and publicationsources (i.e. journals, proceedings). Based on these aspects, we built up the base map depictingthe current structure of interdisciplinarity, as a demonstration, that of a publication record of anorganization. First, we describe how SCs have been addressed amongst co-cited papers byreporting on the number and percent of co-cited papers appearing in each SC. This providesinsights about the research orientation of these SCs and recent trends in their respectiveorientations. Second, information about the different levels of target subjects amongst co-citedpapers are addressed. Some “enabling factors” are presented to explain particularly high portionsof target subject in certain co-cited author groups. Third and finally, information about thepublication sources allows us to categorize and count articles in a number of major collaborationplaces.This study may contribute to the current knowledge base on interdisciplinary research in EE: (1)engineering education research is operationalized as a sophisticated and systematically derivedset of keywords and (2) the method of the current study may serve as a significant step towardsquantitative analysis of new scientific field.

Strobel, J., & Radcliffe, D. F., & Yu, J. H., & Nawaz, S., & Luo, Y., & Choi, J. H. (2012, June), Is the Engineering Education Community Becoming More Interdisciplinary? Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. https://peer.asee.org/21621

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