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Use of Communities of Practice to Analyze and Improve Graduate Engineering Education.

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2022 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Minneapolis, MN

Publication Date

August 23, 2022

Start Date

June 26, 2022

End Date

June 29, 2022

Conference Session

ERM: Mentoring for Everyone! And Let's talk about Graduate Students

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Paper Authors


Brayan Díaz North Carolina State University at Raleigh

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I am a Fulbright Scholar, currently in a program towards a Ph.D. in Learning and Teaching in STEM- Science Education at NCSU. I received a bachelor's and M.Sc. in Chemistry at the University Federico Santa María Technical University (UTFSM). I was very proud to receive a Trajectory Sport Award for athletes who have demonstrated leadership and highlighted sports careers at UTFSM and Undergraduate Research Grant from the Center of Ionic Liquids (CILIS-University of Chile). My interests are focused on studying the pedagogical theories that are linked to teaching-learning strategies. I am especially interested in understanding the linkages between the different learning styles and skills of engineering students and their success in pursuing the goals that they had set for themselves when they entered the University.

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Cesar Delgado North Carolina State University (NCSU), Raleigh, NC

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Associate Professor, STEM education Dept. at NC State University. Dr. Delgado researches students’ knowledge and learning of the magnitude of variables, including spatial and temporal scale. He also studies visual representations, project-based learning, and modeling. His externally-funded research includes an NSF EHR CORE grant developing virtual reality environments for the teaching and learning of scale (co-PI), and an NSF IGE grant analyzing and improving graduate engineering and computer science courses (co-PI). He teaches courses on technological tools for teaching, the learning sciences, learning theories, equity and diversity, and methods for teaching. He wrote the supporting materials for a course on project-based learning that is being enacted in 44 universities in 21 states and the District of Columbia.

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Kevin Han North Carolina State University at Raleigh

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Assistant professor, Dept of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering at NC State University.
PI of NSF IGE and IUSE projects. Interested in creating and validating new ways to teach by developing tools and applying educational theories.

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Collin Lynch North Carolina State University at Raleigh

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This work-in-progress paper reports on pilot testing of instruments for an NSF-funded research project that aims to bridge the gap between professional engineering work and engineering graduate education, in accordance with a recent National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine [NASEM] policy document (2018). The project will apply, research, and develop communities of practice (CoP; Wenger, 1998) theory in three graduate classes from three different engineering departments. A community of practice is a group of people who share purposes and methods, which emerge from the needs of a context, with the negotiation of shared meaning and forms of participation. The project will investigate how CoPs form, how CoPs in different disciplines learn to interact and collaborate, and what conditions foster equitable participation by all members of a CoP. Prior research shows that highly diverse communities have optimal team performance and creativity, but only if members feel psychologically safe. Data sources contemplated include personal interviews, classroom observations, a psychological safety survey, survey on perceptions of class, and a CoP-specific instrument, the Community Assessment Toolkit (CAT). In this paper we report on our piloting of the instruments.

Díaz, B., & Delgado, C., & Han, K., & Lynch, C. (2022, August), Use of Communities of Practice to Analyze and Improve Graduate Engineering Education. Paper presented at 2022 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Minneapolis, MN. 10.18260/1-2--40996

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