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Virtual REU Program: Engineering Education Research

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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

NSF Grantees Poster Session

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Paper Authors


Oenardi Lawanto Utah State University

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Dr. Oenardi Lawanto is an associate professor in the Department of Engineering Education at Utah State University, USA. He received his B.S.E.E. from Iowa State University, his M.S.E.E. from the University of Dayton, and his Ph.D. from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Dr. Lawanto has a combination of expertise in engineering and education and has more than 30 and 14 years of experience teaching engineering and cognitive-related topics courses for his doctoral students, respectively. He also has extensive experience in working collaboratively with several universities in Asia, the World Bank Institute, and USAID to design and conduct workshops promoting active-learning and life-long learning that is sustainable and scalable. Dr. Lawanto’s research interests include cognition, learning, and instruction, and online learning.

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Wade Goodridge Utah State University


Assad Iqbal Utah State University

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Assad Iqbal is a Graduate Teaching/Research Assistant and doctoral candidate in Engineering Education Department (EED) at the College of Engineering, Utah State University USA. He is a Computer Information System Engineer and a Master in Engineering Management with almost 14 years of teaching experience in undergraduate engineering and technology education. His current research interest is to explore the use and impact of formative assessments in online learning to promote self-regulated, self-directed life-long learning. He has expertise in the development and use of think-aloud protocols, and quantitative, qualitative and mixed-method research designs.

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This paper describes a National Science Foundation-funded Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Site program conducted through virtual working environment. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, REU 2021 activities were conducted online through Canvas and Zoom communication platforms. The major aim of this program is to provide undergraduate students with experiences in engineering education research (i.e., education research in the context of engineering). This paper provides an overview of the program, and briefly describes the virtual working environment, and students’ research experiences during the 10-week program.

A total of 11 undergraduate students, seven graduate mentors, and seven faculty mentors have actively participated in the program. The program is conducted in two phases: Phases 1 (i.e., Weeks 1-2) and 2 (i.e., Weeks 3-10). Phase 1 consists of preparatory and foundational work that is delivered to participants and will allow them to begin Phase 2 with some educational research foundation already established.

The results of the project evaluation show that the program has made a positive impact on increasing education research skills and communication skills of the participating REU students. The participating REU students reported that the research projects they worked on increased their motivation and confidence for continuing to engage in engineering education research. Four participants (i.e., 36.4% of the total participants) suggested that, if available, they would prefer face-to-face over a virtual REU program. Another four participants (i.e., 36.4%) felt that both face-to-face and virtual would offer the same quality of research experiences, and 3 participants (i.e., 27.2% of the total participants) voiced their preference of virtual over face-to-face REU program.

Lawanto, O., & Goodridge, W., & Iqbal, A. (2022, August), Virtual REU Program: Engineering Education Research Paper presented at 2022 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Minneapolis, MN.

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