Knowing our story: Framing a cooperative inquiry project to explore the personal growth of graduate students in engineering education

Richard J. Aleong, Molly H. Goldstein, Juan David Ortega-Alvarez, Hector Enrique Rodriguez-Simmonds

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Doctoral education is often described by faculty and graduate students as "a journey", "a learning process", and "a transformative experience". These descriptions speak to the experiential nature of doctoral education which aims at bringing about some change in students to prepare them for their future career. In the research literature, the path and process of becoming an engineering education researcher is an emerging field. In this paper, we present the framing of a co-operative inquiry project to explore our personal growth as graduate students. Co-operative inquiry is a research method in which multiple people share and explore a topic from their own perspectives through collective dialogue, reflection, interrogation, and transformation. Our co-operative inquiry group consisted of the authors of this paper as coresearchers and co-subjects and is situated in our shared interest in graduate education and learning. While we are at different stages of the doctoral program, we have the mutual experience of completing the first year of the program at the same institution. We engaged in cooperative inquiry sessions, focused on learning within ourselves and with others, to make new meaning from our experiences. Reflections during the formative first year of doctoral training were explored as well as reflections and memos generated as part of the inquiry process. Through the co-operative inquiry process, this study offers insight into opportunities for peer-topeer mentorship and learning enrichment in graduate studies. Our insight may support graduate students in discovering and charting their own personal journeys of learning and development in engineering education research. Our future work will be guided by our co-operative inquiry process and structure, with a focus on delving deeper into the aspects that make up our personal and collective story.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Jun 24 2017
Externally publishedYes
Event124th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - Columbus, United States
Duration: Jun 25 2017Jun 28 2017

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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