March 24, 2021
March 24, 2021
March 26, 2021
In April of 2019, Dr. Karan Watson, Co-Director of the Texas A&M University Institute for Engineering Education & Innovation, sent a call out to the university to form an officially recognized University Faculty of Engineering Education complete with bylaws. The principal purpose of forming this Faculty was to provide a collaborative structure for faculty of Texas A&M University who have interests in researching, developing, or sharing innovations for engineering, engineering technology, computer science, and industrial distribution education. The collaborations will be primarily involved in education research, curricular and pedagogical innovations, professional development, and mentoring of current and future scholars in education in these fields.
In September of 2019, the Faculty met for the first time to vote on a set of bylaws and requirements for membership. In October of 2019, the Faculty voted on a set of bylaws and agreed to nominate an executive committee. In November of 2019, the Faculty voted seven members to form the executive committee: Luciana Barroso, Kelly Brumbelow, Jean-Francois Chamberland, Dilma DaSilva, Tracy Hammond, Michael Johnson, and Kristi Shryock, all from the College of Engineering. The executive committee then voted Hammond as chair and Shryock as CoChair. As their first mode of action, they voted to change the bylaws to ensure inclusivity across the university, requiring at least one member from each College that has over five participants, of which the College of Teaching, Learning, and Culture did have, but without representation. In December of 2019, the Faculty of Engineering Education ratified the amendment and added Michael De Miranda to the Faculty. At that time the Faculty also jointly came up with a list of priority agendas and a list of task forces. In January of 2020, the task forces were formed and began to meet and create localized agendas and priorities.
In March of 2020, with many taskforces only having met once or twice, COVID hit us. Many of us had families on the front line. All of us were overwhelmed, now having to completely rework their face to face class into an online setting. The instinct was for everyone to step back, but rather we took this time as a priority to both band together and also to use our expertise to help the Engineering Faculty as a whole. In mid-March, we transformed from meeting once a month to once a week. In the beginning, we focussed on supporting us and others in this transition, but by the end of the summer, it had transformed into a tightly knit community that formed two writing groups, produced two surveys (with over 5,000 total responses) to query, reflect, and respond appropriately to the needs of the faculty, students, and staff.
In September of 2020, the executive committee, in conjunction with the Institute of Engineering Education and Innovation, now directed by Tracy Hammond, started an IEEI/EEF Teaching Faculty Fellows program, an IEEI/EEF Research Faculty Fellows Program, and an IEEI/EEF Seminal Speakers program. The Teaching Faculty Fellows meet weekly to watch each other's classroom videos to help both transform their online teaching practices and also to develop a better understanding of how to evaluate online teaching. The Research Faculty Fellows meet weekly to plan and design classroom experiments in their own classroom, write NSF proposals, and give feedback on each other's work and publications. Once a month the Seminal Speaker Series invites a seminal speaker in Engineering Education to a public talk on the state of Engineering Education, and also meet with several smaller groups including the associate deans and department heads, the teaching fellows, the research fellows, the engineering education faculty, the engineering education executive committee, and the graduate students. This also marked the first time that the graduate students ever knew that any other’s existence, and they are now developing a strong community of practice of their own. Thus far, our speakers have included Dr. Stephanie Adams, Dr. Donna Riley, and Dr. Bevlee Watford. Dr. Cindy Finelli and Dr. Sheryl Sorby are on the docket for future speakers.
In a little over a year and during a pandemic, the Faculty of Engineering Education went from being a disparate group of individuals into a strong cohesive community of practice. This paper will discuss the principles that drove the formation of the community to ensure a strong sense of inclusion, community, and promise.
Hammond, T. A., & Watson, K., & Ray, S., & Lightfoot, R. H., & Casey, D. S., & Thomas, S. (2021, March), The Development of a Texas A&M University Faculty of Engineering Education Paper presented at ASEE 2021 Gulf-Southwest Annual Conference, Waco, Texas. https://peer.asee.org/36409
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