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Literature Review and Methods Paper: Identifying Influencers That Contribute to Transformative Learning in an Electrical and Computer Engineering Undergraduate Capstone Design Project and Selecting Action Research Methods to Frame a Study

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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

Design and the Capstone Experience

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Page Count

14

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/30775

Download Count

21

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Paper Authors

biography

Rachael E. Cate Oregon State University

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Rachael Cate:
Dr. Rachael Cate received her MA in rhetoric and composition from Oregon State University in 2011 and her Ph.D. in Higher Education Leadership and Research from Oregon State University in 2016. She joined the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Oregon State University as a member of the professional faculty in 2016. In this role, she provides engineering communications instruction to students as they progress through the senior capstone project and develop relationships with project stakeholders in industry. She also supports transformative engineering program development, research, and implementation. In addition to her Ph. D. research interests in adult learning theory, post-colonialist critical consciousness, program design, and qualitative research, she is also collaborating on research in the areas of communications-related success factors of recent engineering graduates in industry and effective tools for instructors of integrated engineering and communications courses.

Donald Heer:
Donald Heer received his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Computer Engineering from Oregon State University in 2001 and 2003, respectively. In 2003, Mr. Heer joined the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Oregon State University as a member of the professional faculty. In this role, he coordinates the TekBots® program development and implementation. In addition to his research interests in creating innovative engineering education experiences, he is also performing his Ph.D. research in the area of integrated sensor systems using nanotechnology.

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Donald Heer Oregon State University

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Abstract

Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) design capstone instructors and course developers at Oregon State University are conducting a study to investigate the efficacy of Evidence-Based Instructional Practices (EBIPs) for supporting students' learning and success. In this 9-month study, the key research questions are: What educational experiences contribute to ECE seniors’ success in the senior design capstone year? and what instructional practices best facilitate these transformative educational experiences? As a result of the study-in-progress, the researchers have identified a mixed-methods action research approach that will allow them to engage in transformative teaching and learning practices as they advance their knowledge through empirical data collection. In the literature review presented here, they have defined key transformative teaching and learning practices using best practices case study literature and theories of transformative learning intended to provide students with engagement opportunities that advance their integrity and efficacy as professional engineers through collaborative design, project management, and critical reflection. The synthesis of learning theory, best practices research, and methodological frameworks presented here represents the results of researchers’ efforts to develop methods and analytical frameworks to guide their research. Transformative learning theory is identified as a foundational framework for defining and measuring success in engineering education. Key transformative education programmatic influencers identified in this review include critical awareness of culture, professional identity development, participation in communities of mentoring and learning, holistic skill integration through reflection, and the development of professional integrity through affective awareness. Emancipatory Action Research (EAR), a pragmatic qualitative epistemology, and a critical mixed-methods approach are all identified as best fitting methodological frameworks to guide future methods development. The results of this review support a deepening awareness of dynamics of transformative teaching, learning, and educational research that have broad implications for capstone and design engineering education.

Cate, R. E., & Heer, D. (2018, June), Literature Review and Methods Paper: Identifying Influencers That Contribute to Transformative Learning in an Electrical and Computer Engineering Undergraduate Capstone Design Project and Selecting Action Research Methods to Frame a Study Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/30775

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