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Lean LaunchPad and Customer Discovery as a Form of Qualitative Research

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Conference

2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Research Methods

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Page Count

11

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/30750

Download Count

59

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Paper Authors

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Cory Hixson Rowan University

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Cory is an Assistant Professor of Experiential Engineering Education (ExEEd) at Rowan University. He earned his B.S. in Engineering Science (2007), M.S. in Industrial and System Engineering (2014) and Ph.D. in Engineering Education (2016). Cory has experience as both a professional engineer and high school educator. His professional interests are understanding the interaction between engineering education pedagogy and entrepreneurship, faculty technology commercialization experiences, and institutional policies that influence both engineering education and entrepreneurship. In July 2018, Cory will begin a new faculty position at Colorado Christian University.

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Ella Lee Ingram Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

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Ella L. Ingram is an Associate Professor of Biology and Director of the Center for the Practice and Scholarship of Education at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. Her educational research interests include promoting successful change practice of STEM faculty, effective evolution and ecology instruction, and facilitating undergraduate research experiences. Her teaching portfolio includes courses on: nutrition, introductory biology, ecology and environmental studies, evolution, evolutionary medicine, and research practices in science.

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Rachel McCord University of Tennessee, Knoxville Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-5163-7675

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Rachel McCord is a a Lecturer and Research Assistant Professor in the Engineering Fundamentals Division at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. She received her Ph.D. in Engineering Education from Virginia Tech. Her research interests include the impact of metacognitive and self-regulated learning development on engineering student success, particularly in the first year as well as practices to encourage the connection between the research-practice cycle.

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Julia M. Williams Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

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Dr. Julia M. Williams is Interim Dean of Cross-Cutting Programs and Emerging Opportunities and Professor of English at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. Her research areas include technical communication, assessment, accreditation, and the development of change management strategies for faculty and staff. Her articles have appeared in the Journal of Engineering Education, International Journal of Engineering Education, IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication, and Technical Communication Quarterly, among others.

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Abstract

In this theoretical paper, we highlight the scholarship of integration by exploring how customer discovery connects to other methodologies in engineering education research and the opportunities for using this methodology in engineering education research. As a result of the National Science Foundation’s Innovation Corps (I-Corps) and I-Corps for Learning initiatives, the Lean LaunchPad®/Customer Discovery methodology has grown in popularity within academic institutions, particularly in business and entrepreneurship education. In addition, the Lean LaunchPad®/Customer Discovery approach has helped startups, individuals, academics, and students test the potential of an idea, make important decisions about the structure, value, and implementation of their projects, and develop a minimum viable product, service, or offering. While the Lean LaunchPad®/Customer Discovery approach is relatively new to the fields of business, engineering education, and entrepreneurship education, its methodological background emerges from well-established qualitative research techniques.

We first describe the Lean LaunchPad®/Customer Discovery process and give examples of its current use in academia. Next, we explain the connections between the Lean LaunchPad®/Customer Discovery approach and specific forms of qualitative research like design-based research, action research, and qualitative interviewing. Finally, we offer a detailed example of how our team used the Lean LaunchPad®/Customer Discovery approach to conduct an engineering education action research project. This example serves to clarify how the Lean LaunchPad®/Customer Discovery approach can be successfully applied, validated by funding received after our use of the process to develop a program. We expect that this theoretical work will add value to individuals interested in conducting action-oriented educational research projects for two reasons. First, we show how robust qualitative research methodologies provide the foundation for a popular market research approach. Second, we give an example of using this approach in an educational context. Our motivation is to expand the breadth of methodologies available to researchers and practitioners.

Hixson, C., & Ingram, E. L., & McCord, R., & Williams, J. M. (2018, June), Lean LaunchPad and Customer Discovery as a Form of Qualitative Research Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/30750

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