June 23, 2013
June 23, 2013
June 26, 2013
NSF Grantees Poster Session
23.1166.1 - 23.1166.18
The Arrows in Our Backs: Lessons Learned Trying to Change the Engineering Curriculum Engineering Education Research to Practice (E2R2P): NSF Grant 1037808Published research has provided a robust set of documented tools and techniques fortransforming individual engineering courses in ways that use evidence-based instructionalpractices. Many engineering faculty are already aware of these practices and would like to usethem. However, they still face significant implementation barriers. The E2R2P effort addressesthe question: How can successes in engineering education research translate into widespreadinstructional practice?This poster session will describe hard-won lessons the E2R2P team has learned as it begins itsthird year attempting such curricular change.Lesson 1: Hosting “wonder workshops” to introduce engineering faculty to evidence-based instructional strategies won’t produce curricular change. Faculty have other more pressing demands on their time.Lesson 2: Visible redesigns of courses don’t produce curricular change. Faculty don’t have the time to watch or participate in the redesign of other people’s courses—even when these redesigns involve evidence-based strategies they could use.Lesson 3: Work systemically. Involve academic and industry stakeholders in a shared problem, such as how to decrease the time that newly graduated and hired “fresh out” engineers need to reach competent levels of workplace performance.Lesson 4: Work together to change graduating skill sets and learning curves. Make traditional boundaries between universities and industry increasingly porous.Lesson 5: Use engineering to talk about curricular change in engineering education. Our research agenda now consists of the following phases: problem identification, root cause analysis, and corrective action.Lesson 6: Avoid talking about “knowledge” and course topics. Instead, use workplace performance as a gold standard for prioritizing what goes into courses and how to create learning activities that promote skill transfer. Instead, talk about what fresh out engineers are doing on the job.Lesson 7: Use data collected from academic and industry stakeholders as a basis for shared decision making and solution building. Conversations about problem identification and root cause analysis build engagement and commitment to conversations about shared corrective actions. This community of shared concern and practice can work together to identify and correct causes of increased ramp-up time—in ways that benefit universities and industry alike.Lesson 8: It takes time to grow the contact network that can bring academics and industry stakeholders into a larger community of practice. Getting opportunities to collect meaningful data requires industry contacts who can say “yes” to focus groups, interviews, and surveys. Cultivate multiple, renewable sources of contacts.Lesson 9: Work across multiple disciplines. Include stakeholders from all engineering disciplines. Include non-engineering disciplines, such as performance improvement, workforce readiness, qualitative methods, and business communications, and business management. Work with university staff and leadership.Lesson 10: Seize the momentum. ASEE devoted a plenary session to the ability of graduates to walk into jobs prepared for what they do on a daily basis. Industry is looking to cut the cost of onboarding. Academics are looking to find competitive differentiators in an increasingly tighter market for students.
Villachica, S. W., & Marker, A. W., & Plumlee, D., & Huglin, L., & Chegash, A. (2013, June), The Arrows in Our Backs: Lessons Learned Trying to Change the Engineering Curriculum Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--22551
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