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Showcasing Interdisciplinary Capabilities: Employers’ Perceptions on Reflective ePortfolios

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Conference

2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

Aligning Graduate Programs with Industrial Needs

Tagged Division

Graduate Studies

Page Count

19

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/33264

Download Count

39

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Paper Authors

biography

Chi-Ning Chang Texas A&M University

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Chi-Ning Chang is a Ph.D. student at the Department of Educational Psychology at Texas A&M University. His major is Research, Measurement, and Statistics. He works for an interdisciplinary graduate education program in the Material Engineering field, which is funded by the NSF Research Traineeship (NRT) program. His current research interests are STEM Education and Quantitative Methodology.

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Clinton A. Patterson Texas A&M University

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As a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Texas A&M University's Center for Teaching Excellence, Dr. Clint Patterson supports curriculum research, doctoral education, and academic grant writing. The goal of these efforts is to provide evidence-based information for the Center and Texas A&M academic leadership, as well as developing students. Clint graduated from Tarleton State University with a doctorate in educational leadership in 2018. This academic experience offered opportunities to be a researching practitioner in higher education, specifically within student affairs at Baylor University where he worked for twelve years. As an educator in student affairs, Clint developed skills to advocate, support, and lead areas of holistic student learning.

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Courtney Lavadia Texas A&M University

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Courtney Lavadia obtained her master’s degree from the College of Education and Human Development, Texas A&M University in 2016. She is currently a Ph.D. candidate studying school psychology. Her research is centered around how practitioners can utilize individual child strengths for assessment and intervention in hospital settings. Other projects include studying resilience in children, and adult learning theory.

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Debra Fowler Texas A&M University

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Dr. Debra Fowler serves as the Director of the Center for Teaching Excellence at Texas A&M University. Following 16 years working in industry she completed a Ph.D. is in Interdisciplinary Engineering with a specific focus on engineering education from Texas A&M University. Her research areas of focus are faculty perspectives and growth through curriculum design and redesign, interdisciplinary teaching and learning, reflective eportfolios and graduate student education and overall development.

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Raymundo Arroyave Texas A&M University

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Dr. Arroyave is a Professor and Presidential Impact Fellow of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. He also holds courtesy appointments in the Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Industrial and Systems Engineering at Texas A&M University. He is the Director of the NSF Research Traineeship program Data-Enabled Discovery and Design of Energy Materials (D3EM). He is the author or co-author of more than 150 peer-reviewed papers on computational materials science, interdisciplinary materials discovery and design as well as interdisciplinary graduate education.

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Abstract

Disciplines in isolation cannot furnish solutions to the world’s complex problems. Trends within the materials science and engineering fields revealed materials development was slow to offer solutions for the practical needs of advancing technology. The Materials Genome Initiative (MGI), announced by the White House in 2011, recommended an interdisciplinary approach utilizing an informatics framework in materials discovery and development. With more employment opportunities brought about by the MGI, it is important to teach the next generation of engineers and scientists how to show employers their interdisciplinary capabilities. Creating an ePortfolio is a common, useful solution in engineering education. Students not only can display their learning experiences and research projects, but also can enhance their reflection ability, a critical skill for interdisciplinary education and research. However, few ePortfolio studies have indicated the perceived value employers have on a student’s reflective ability. To fill the literature gap and provide suggestions on developing ePortfolios, our study investigated how a reflective ePortfolio enhances student’s competitiveness for future positions from the perspective of employers. We recruited seven doctoral students from an interdisciplinary program designed at the intersection of materials science, engineering design, and informatics as a response to MGI’s call. With the completion of two-year training, these students have finished their ePortfolio including personal profiles, learning experience, and reflection posts. We invited employers from the academia, industry, and national lab to review their ePortfolio and complete a survey. Based on the results, we presented comprehensive suggestions for developing an impactful ePortfolio.

Chang, C., & Patterson, C. A., & Lavadia, C., & Fowler, D., & Arroyave, R. (2019, June), Showcasing Interdisciplinary Capabilities: Employers’ Perceptions on Reflective ePortfolios Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. https://peer.asee.org/33264

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