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PEER: Professional Development Experiences for Education Researchers

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2018 CoNECD - The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference


Crystal City, Virginia

Publication Date

April 29, 2018

Start Date

April 29, 2018

End Date

May 2, 2018

Conference Session

Faculty Track - Technical Session IV

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Paper Authors


Scott Franklin Rochester Institute of Technology

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Scott Franklin is a Professor in the School of Physics and Astronomy and Director of the CASTLE Center for Advancing STEM Teaching, Learning & Evaluation at Rochester Institute of Technology. His education research includes projects on the development of identity and affiliation in physics majors throughout their undergraduate career, and, separately, how physicists express conceptual meaning in mathematical formalism. He has co-directed the PEER faculty development program for four years, integrating emerging research projects into ongoing programmatic activities that seek to improve the retention of first-generation and deaf/hard-of hearing students in STEM disciplines.

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Eleanor C. Sayre Kansas State University

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Eleanor Sayre is a researcher in physics education, specializing in undergraduate student learning and development; and faculty professional development in research and teaching. She is an Associate Professor in Physics at Kansas State University, the Fulbright Research Chair in STEM Education at the University of Calgary, and the Research Director for PhysPort.

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Mary Bridget Kustusch DePaul University

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Mary Bridget Kustusch is an Assistant Professor of Physics at DePaul University and an educational researcher who specializes in studying group interactions and the role of different representations in learning. She also focuses on faculty professional development in research, as co-director of the distributed PEER workshop, and in teaching, as a facilitator for Faculty Online Learning Communities through the American Association of Physics Teachers.

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To help foster the next generation of STEM education researchers, we have developed and conducted a two-part professional development model that combines intensive in-person workshops with long-term remote activities. Participants include emerging researchers at all career stages, including undergraduates, graduate students, postdoctoral researchers, junior faculty, and more senior faculty considering a change in research focus. In this paper, we outline two versions of the model: a distributed workshop where participants gather from all over the world for two weeks in-person, then disperse for ongoing remote meetings; and a regional workshop, where we facilitate education research among participants who live near each other. In both versions, emerging and established education researchers work closely together to develop research questions, learn appropriate analytic techniques, and, when possible, explore data. Workshops attract participants from a variety of STEM education research communities and have taken place in multiple countries, including Rwanda, Germany, Mexico and the United States. In this paper, we lay out the model for professional development, describe the different contexts we have explored, and discuss various results from the different manifestations.

Franklin, S., & Sayre, E. C., & Kustusch, M. B. (2018, April), PEER: Professional Development Experiences for Education Researchers Paper presented at 2018 CoNECD - The Collaborative Network for Engineering and Computing Diversity Conference, Crystal City, Virginia.

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