Virtual On line
June 22, 2020
June 22, 2020
June 26, 2021
Liberal Education/Engineering & Society
Many skills to be an effective engineering faculty member are not currently explicitly taught. The professional or soft skills, despite being valued by ABET, remain scarce within the engineering pedagogy. For example, few engineering faculty experience basic training on teaching or mentoring. However, engineers possess the technical and design skills of innovation, recognizing deficiencies, and striving for process optimization. These habits are relevant both in engineering labs and classrooms. As engineering faculty look to translate their technical knowledge and skills into other professional activities, they often become interested in education and social justice in the engineering classroom. In order to act on this interest, the faculty require training in social science methods. This training may come in the form of peer mentorship or instruction by faculty in engineering education research (EER) or social science experts. Mentoring relationships between faculty are understudied, especially in the context of faculty with expertise in different disciplines and variation among underrepresented groups. Further, we posit that faculty mentorship literature is outdated, and does not address the inclusion of underrepresented groups. Therefore, the goal of this project is to fill this gap in the literature by studying mentorship between engineering practitioner mentees and EER scholars. Understanding best practices of faculty-faculty peer mentorship can increase the impact of EER as a field, expand the network of EER scholars, and promote the adaptation of research-based instructional strategies in new settings. These enhancements all support the goal of positively impacting the overall engineering education experience of students. For these reasons, we propose that a study of mentorship between researching engineering practitioner mentees and EER scholar mentors can improve the quality of new EER research, inform the creation of materials to support EER faculty, and increase the number and diversity of researchers in EER. Through in-depth semi-structured qualitative interviews, the current project seeks to identify successful mentoring strategies between engineering faculty and EER scholars. Secondary outcomes include understanding the training and networking needs of EER mentees and the mentors’ opinions about the direction and deficiencies of EER as a field/In an effort to broaden the field of EER, the NSF Professional Formation of Engineers: Research Initiation in Engineering Formation (PFE: RIEF) program supports the initiation of engineering practitioners (RIEF award PIs) to EER through guidance by EER scholars (RIEF award co-PIs and consultants). Our sample for this mentorship study includes recipients of the RIEF award. Participants included mentors and mentees that were at various stages of their research projects. While we anticipate that our work will benefit the RIEF program, we envision that this work will positively affect the larger EER community. Study design and preliminary data are presented. These findings will leverage the development of workshops, networking, and training materials for faculty joining the EER community.
Mirabelli, J. F., & Barlow, A. J., & Ko, M., & Cross, K. J., & Jensen, K. (2020, June), Work in Progress: A Qualitative Study of Mentorship, Training Needs, and Community for New Engineering Education Researchers Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35601
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