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Revolution in CBEE: Sustainability and Barriers

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Conference

2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

NSF Grantees: RED 1

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count

10

DOI

10.18260/1-2--35163

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/35163

Download Count

102

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Paper Authors

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Milo Koretsky Oregon State University

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Milo Koretsky is a Professor of Chemical Engineering at Oregon State University. He received his B.S. and M.S. degrees from UC San Diego and his Ph.D. from UC Berkeley, all in Chemical Engineering. He currently has research activity in areas related engineering education and is interested in integrating technology into effective educational practices and in promoting the use of higher-level cognitive and social skills in engineering problem solving. His research interests particularly focus on what prevents students from being able to integrate and extend the knowledge developed in specific courses in the core curriculum to the more complex, authentic problems and projects they face as professionals. Dr. Koretsky is one of the founding members of the Center for Lifelong STEM Education Research at OSU.

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Susan Bobbitt Nolen University of Washington Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-2240-4447

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Susan Bobbitt Nolen is Professor Emerita of Learning Sciences & Human Development at the University of Washington. She earned her PhD in Educational Psychology at Pudue University. Her current research interests focus on student engagement in engineering practices and social interaction during learning activity, and their relationship to engineering identity and opportunity to learn. She also studies organizational learning in higher education systems.

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Michelle Kay Bothwell Oregon State University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-4501-8533

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Michelle Bothwell is a Professor of Bioengineering at Oregon State University. Her teaching and research bridge ethics, social justice and engineering with the aim of cultivating an inclusive and socially just engineering profession.

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Susannah C. Davis Oregon State University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-4610-8052

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Susannah C. Davis is a postdoctoral research associate in the School of Chemical, Biological and Environmental Engineering at Oregon State University. She received her Ph.D. and M.Ed. from the University of Washington, and her B.A. from Smith College. She is currently working on the NSF-funded REvolutionizing engineering and computer science Departments (RED) project at OSU. Her research focuses on organizational learning and change, particularly in higher education; learning in the workplace; curricular and pedagogical development; and the preparation of professionals for social justice goals.

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Christine Kelly Oregon State University

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Dr. Kelly earned her BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Arizona and her PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of Tennessee. She served as an Assistant Professor for 6 years at Syracuse University, and has been an Associate Professor at Oregon State University in the School of Chemical, Biological and Environmental Engineering since 2004, where she also served for three and half years as the Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs of the College of Engineering.

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Abstract

Supported by an NSF RED grant, the School seeks to create: (1) a culture where everyone in the CBEE community feels a sense of value and belonging, and (2) a learning environment that prompts students and faculty to meaningfully relate curricular and co-curricular activities and experiences to each other and to connect both with professional practice. There has been substantial activity in support of these goals. Approximately two-thirds of the School faculty have completed a 60-hour professional development experience that encourages examination of how unequal distribution of social, political and economic power becomes enacted in day-to-day personal interactions. About half the faculty have been involved in our Studio 2.0 transformation where assignments are crafted to position students in the role of teams of engineers doing realistic work. In the final year of the grant, we are investigating the ways that shifts in structures and practices have been taken up by the community and identifying barriers to sustainability. This paper discusses three structural changes in support of these efforts. The examples were chosen based on differences in community support towards sustainability. Our hope is not just to communicate what has worked well but also the types of barriers that resist shifts in organizational structures.

The first example centers on the use and professional development of near-peer Learning Assistants (LAs) to facilitate interactive engagement in Studio. This initiative is broadly supported within the community and has moved forward in several ways this year including: teaching credit for faculty; greater faculty ownership and administration of LA recruitment and hiring; and the integration of a Lead LA position. The use of undergraduates in support of learning has a rich history in the School, and shifting the nature of their work and providing more specific support appears to align with community conceptions. The second example is the pilot implementation of an alternative leads model in eight select studio courses where two faculty share a course assignment with one orienting towards that year’s delivery and the other taking responsibility for curricular innovation and vertical integration of key skills with other courses. This structure is intended to institutionalize innovation and address issues of practice as a core instructional activity rather than work supported by external funds. While the faculty who have opted into this model are enthusiastic, there is resistance from administrators who have difficulty reconciling the workloads of the alternative leads with the more traditional sequestered model of instruction. There are also faculty who do not chose to participate. Finally, we discuss our efforts to meaningfully allow faculty to have different Position Descriptions. Position Descriptions represent a clear opportunity in our efforts to empower faculty and staff to identify, agree upon, and carry out responsibilities that can be outside of the traditional norms in the academy such as identifying Change Leaders and formally allot 10% of their effort toward shifting the School’s culture to re-situate learning and instruction. However, the meaningful incorporation of new Position Descriptions into faculty annual review has not gained traction.

Koretsky, M., & Nolen, S. B., & Bothwell, M. K., & Davis, S. C., & Kelly, C. (2020, June), Revolution in CBEE: Sustainability and Barriers Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35163

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