Special Session: Pathways into Engineering Education Research

Kelly J. Cross, Karin Jensen, Julie P. Martin

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Our project explores a holistic approach to understand the identity transformation of traditional engineering faculty to engage with engineering education research. This work is part of a larger project that seeks to understand best practices of mentor-mentee relationships between engineering education researchers and engineering faculty entering the EER field. The overall project is a mixed methods study with Cognitive Apprentice Model (CAM) as the guiding framework [1]. In an effort to increase the community of engineering education researchers conducting engineering education research and to support research in the professional formation of engineers (PFE), the NSF has awarded Research Initiation in Engineering Formation (RIEF) grants to engineering faculty with little or no experience conducting social science research. The RIEF grants support a two-year collaborative research project where the engineering faculty member is mentored by one or more engineering education researchers. Since 2016, the PFE: RIEF program has supported over 35 projects across over 40 institutions. Engineering faculty are the primary educators of future engineers but are often not trained in engineering education research or approaches to implement research based instructional strategies (RBIS) despite the potential benefit to student development and outcomes. Therefore it is important to understand how engineering faculty are trained in engineering education research by engineering education researchers to promote synergistic activities between these two communities. Engineering faculty may not identify as engineering education researchers and failure in implementation or achieving less than the desired student outcomes can also hinder faculty motivation to adopt instructional innovation [2]. Overcoming these barriers and successfully training engineering faculty as engineering education researchers will expand and diversify engineering education research community. As more engineering faculty join the engineering education community they will bring new perspectives and ideas, and will promote collaboration between engineering education researchers and engineering practitioners. This community will facilitate interactions across teams to share experiences, resources, and expand networks. The goal is to build a community with multi-modal communication (i.e., in person meetings, online communication, etc.) to nucleate engineering faculty mentees and engineering education research mentors to create a community supporting the NSF PFE: RIEF program.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication2020 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2020 - Proceedings
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781728189611
StatePublished - Oct 21 2020
Event2020 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2020 - Uppsala, Sweden
Duration: Oct 21 2020Oct 24 2020

Publication series

NameProceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE
ISSN (Print)1539-4565


Conference2020 IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2020


  • Engineering Education Research (EER)
  • Mentoring

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Software
  • Education
  • Computer Science Applications


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