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Partnering to Improve Engineering Learning and Performance

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

NSF Grantees' Poster Session

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.1028.1 - 25.1028.7



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Paper Authors

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Donald Plumlee Boise State University

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Steven W. Villachica Boise State University

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Linda Huglin Boise State University


Shannon Rist Boise State University

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Shannon Rist is a Graduate Assistant in the College of Engineering. She will complete her master’s degree in instructional and performance technology from Boise State University in 2012.

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Partnering to Improve Engineering Learning and Performance Engineering Education Research to Practice (E2R2P): NSF Grant 1037808The E2R2P effort addresses the question: How can successes in engineeringeducation research translate into widespread instructional practice? Publishedresearch has provided a robust set of documented tools and techniques fortransforming individual engineering courses from traditional lecture-based formatsto those that emphasize project- and problem-based learning[1]. These new formatssupport transfer of learned skill to subsequent courses and the workplace.Unfortunately, the mere availability of such research has not resulted in itswidespread adoption across engineering programs. The pace of adoption has beenslow and sporadic, which has led researchers to identify a “Valley of Death”separating research and practice [2]. Attempts to encourage widespread adoption ofresearch-based engineering education practices by “pushing” effective techniqueson faculty via workshops has not produced consistent results. Nor has the redesignof single courses that produce “one-offs” that never lead to wider adoptionof such instructional approaches acrossthe curriculum, as shown in Figure 1.These flawed efforts attempt to optimizesubsystem performance (courses) toachieve a system goal (widespreadadoption). The E2R2P team proposes anew transformative approach forbuilding institution-wide adoption ofeffective engineering instructionaltechniques. Specifically, the researcherswill create a transformational roadmapwhich will use the existing “push”resources in engineering educationresearch and incorporate a “pull”component throughout the organization Figure 1: This schematic illustrates the alignment of goalsto promote adoption through from course level to departmental and college level based on the needs of the educational stakeholderscollaborative efforts to:  Align instructional goals based on stakeholder input (Problem Identification).  Close gaps between actual and desired performance by creating solutions that target the sources of the gaps (Cause/Corrective Action).The proposed E2R2P approach rests on the contention that engineering educationshould be responsive to a variety of stakeholders for producing valued learningoutcomes. These stakeholders include faculty, students, alumni, and industryadvisory boards reflecting the interests of the larger community. Consequently, theresearchers will identify and engage stakeholders in the educational engineeringprocess to identify potential gaps in student performance that occur in theuniversity and the workplace. Faculty, department chairs, and deans can use thisstakeholder input to align educational goals from the course to departmental levelto college level.This poster session will specify: Findings and results of the problem identification effort. A gap between existing and desired workplace performance that industry and academics believe is worth closing. Findings and results of the cause analysis and recommended corrective actions. The design of an interdisciplinary course that can be created to inform problem identification, cause analysis, and corrective actions. A transformative roadmap describing the process the E2R2P team employed. References[1] L. R. Barroso and J. R. Morgan, "Project enhanced learning: Addressing ABET outcomes and linking the curriculum," Journal of Professional Issues in Engineering Education & Practice, vol. 135, pp. 11-20, 2009.[2] L. Jamieson and J. Lohmann, "Creating a culture for scholarly and systematic innovation in engineering education: Ensuring U.S. engineering has the right people with the right talent for a global society.," American Society of Engineering Education, Washington D.C.2009.

Plumlee, D., & Villachica, S. W., & Huglin, L., & Rist, S. (2012, June), Partnering to Improve Engineering Learning and Performance Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21785

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