Partnering to Improve Engineering Learning and Performance

Document Type

Conference Proceeding

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Our effort addresses the question: How can successes in engineering education research translate into widespread instructional practice? Published research has provided a robust set of documented tools and techniques for transforming individual engineering courses from traditional lecture-based formats to those that emphasize project- and problem-based learning[1]. These new formats support transfer of learned skills to subsequent courses and the workplace. Unfortunately, the mere availability of such research has not resulted in its widespread adoption across engineering programs. The pace of adoption has been slow and sporadic, which has led researchers to identify a "Valley of Death" separating research and practice [2]. Attempts to encourage widespread adoption of research-based engineering education practices by "pushing" effective techniques on faculty via workshops have not produced consistent results. Nor has the redesign of single courses that produce "one-offs" that never lead to wider adoption of such instructional approaches across the curriculum.

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