June 12, 2005
June 12, 2005
June 15, 2005
10.1074.1 - 10.1074.9
Research Design Becomes Research Reality: Colorado School of Mines Implements Research Methodology for the Center for the Advancement of Engineering Education
Heidi G. Loshbaugh, Ruth A. Streveler, Kimberley R. Breaux Colorado School of Mines/Regis University
In 2003, NSF funded development of the Center for the Advancement of Engineering Education (CAEE) at University of Washington, Colorado School of Mines (CSM), Howard University, University of Minnesota, and Stanford University  (ESI-0227558). Any research requires adapting design into practice, as reality impinges on the researchers’ free-ranging ideals. A multi-institutional, multi-year grant multiplies opportunities for reality to interfere with design. As engineering education evolves, many more researchers must become familiar with methodologies outside traditional technical disciplines. Mixed-methods research calls for documentation of processes of research so subsequent projects can benefit from the learning curve of prior research activities . This paper examines CSM’s implementing research design into practice, describing both successes and stumbling blocks.
Founded in January 2003, the Center for the Advancement of Engineering Education (CAEE) is a higher-education Center for Learning and Teaching, funded by both the Directorate for Education and Human Resources and the Directorate for Engineering (ESI-0227558). The goal is to improve knowledge about and practice of engineering teaching and learning. This five-year grant brings together a team of scholars with diverse backgrounds and disciplines from five campuses: Colorado School of Mines (CSM), Howard University (HU), Stanford University (SU), the University of Minnesota (UM), and the University of Washington (UW), the lead institution .
This paper focuses on one of CAEE’s research goals: understanding and enhancing the engineering student’s learning experience. The Academic Pathways Study (APS) component of CAEE involves data gathering and analysis, interpretation and dissemination of the research data and findings. The mixed-methods study uses three primary investigative tools: surveys, in-depth interviews, and ethnographic observations. Participants also complete an open-ended performance task. Surveys and interviews provide data on a large set of participants, while ethnography provides a deeper level of information on a small number of subjects. Each tool provides insights to inform the others, allowing generalization of specific findings to a broader population. Companion data is collected through participants’ academic records.
We discuss implementing CAEE research design at CSM. In keeping with mixed-methods research practices, this paper documents our path through the research process. In this first year of integrating the study, our activities are the data. We provide considerations for other
Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference and Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education
Breaux, K. R., & Loshbaugh, H., & Streveler, R. (2005, June), Research Design Becomes Research Reality: Colorado School Of Mines Implements Research Methodology For The Center For The Advancement Of Engineering Education Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. https://peer.asee.org/14299
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