Asee peer logo

Towards a Scholarship of Integration: Lessons from Four Cases

Download Paper |


2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

June 29, 2016





Conference Session

Research Methods I: Developing Research Tools and Methods

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Tagged Topic


Page Count




Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Freddy Solis Purdue University, West Lafayette

visit author page

Freddy Solis is a postdoctoral researcher in the College of Engineering at Purdue University. He holds a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering with an emphasis on innovation management and engineering education, an MBA, a Master’s in Civil Engineering from Purdue University, and a Bachelor’s in Civil Engineering from the Universidad Autonoma de Yucatan, Mexico. His research focuses on all aspects of innovation, drawing from multiple schools of thought, with a special emphasis on typologies such as enabling innovation, disruptive innovation, and radical innovation, designing for innovation typologies, and design and entrepreneurial thinking and learning.

visit author page


Alexandra Coso Strong Franklin W. Olin College of Engineering Orcid 16x16

visit author page

Alexandra Strong is an Assistant Professor for Systems Design and Engineering at Olin College of Engineering. She joined Olin after completing a postdoctoral fellowship at Georgia Tech’s Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning and a Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from Georgia Tech. Prior to her time at Georgia Tech, she received her B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from MIT and her M.S. in Systems Engineering from the University of Virginia. Her research interests include engineering design education (especially in regards to the design of complex systems), student preparation for post-graduation careers, and innovations in research-to-practice.

visit author page


Robin Adams Purdue University, West Lafayette

visit author page

Robin S. Adams is an Associate Professor in the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University and holds a PhD in Education, an MS in Materials Science and Engineering, and a BS in Mechanical Engineering. She researches cross-disciplinarity ways of thinking, acting and being; design learning; and engineering education transformation.

visit author page


Jennifer A. Turns University of Washington

visit author page

Jennifer Turns is a Professor in the Department of Human Centered Design & Engineering at the University of Washington. She is interested in all aspects of engineering education, including how to support engineering students in reflecting on experience, how to help engineering educators make effective teaching decisions, and the application of ideas from complexity science to the challenges of engineering education.

visit author page


David P. Crismond City College of New York

visit author page

David P. Crismond is an Associate Professor in the School of Education at City College, City University of New York, 138th St. & Convent Ave. NAC 6/207b, New York, NY 10031; His research interests relate to engineering design cognition and instruction, and helping teachers build their own design pedagogical content knowledge, create their own video-based design teaching portfolios, and do integrated STEM instruction using design challenges with their students.

visit author page

Download Paper |


The purpose of this theory paper is to illustrate possible approaches to the scholarship of integration and explore features, challenges and outcomes of these approaches. Among the forms of scholarship – i.e., discovery, teaching and learning, integration, and application – the scholarship of integration emphasizes bringing together otherwise isolated knowledge by making generative connections within and across different perspectives and disciplines. These connections lead to new insights and language, and place specialized knowledge in a broader context, often revealing patterns that can be useful to specialists and non-specialists.

Some argue that this form of scholarship is becoming more central to academic work because it is better equipped for building interdisciplinary partnerships, developing frameworks that transcend disciplinary paradigms, and responding to complex issues at the individual and societal level. For engineering education, this type of scholarship can provide a mechanism for scholars to create new language, theorize and develop conceptual frameworks, and make cross-disciplinary translations for use in discovery, teaching, and practice. Yet, although valuable, the scholarship of integration is relatively underdeveloped and under-theorized.

In this paper, we unpack four scholarship of integration cases – focused on systems thinking, innovation, design teaching and learning, and reflection – with a goal of enhancing our collective understanding of this form of scholarship and the ways to use it in engineering education. We employ a process of collaborative inquiry to reflect upon, unpack, and highlight common strategies and challenges in each of our cases. First, we provide individual accounts of our experiences, lessons learned, and scholarship of integration features revealed through our collaborative process that are embedded in our cases. We then highlight a common strategy and two common challenges revealed through the collaborative inquiry process. We conclude with a question about the implications for individual researchers, the community, and policy makers that warrant further conversation.

Solis, F., & Strong, A. C., & Adams, R., & Turns, J. A., & Crismond, D. P. (2016, June), Towards a Scholarship of Integration: Lessons from Four Cases Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.27067

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2016 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015