Work in Progress: What is the Impact of Research in Engineering Education on University Administrators?
This work-in-progress paper draws from the ongoing “The Distributed System of Governance in Engineering Education” project’s qualitative dataset. The Governance project uses an ethnomethodological approach to understand the practice of engineering education reform. The dataset contains oral interview data from both academic institutions and organizations with roles in engineering education governance such as ABET. The academic institutions in the study are representative of the range of engineering schools in US—research intensive, predominately undergraduate, private, public, MSI, etc.—and interview subjects span the administrative spectrum from faculty to department chairs to provosts. This work-in-progress uses this data set to probe two research questions: 1) To what extent, and how, do academic administrators and policy makers in higher education draw on insights from engineering education research (EER) in deriving policies and making decisions? 2) To what extent do the issues and challenges articulated by administrators match those articulated or identified by EER community? The initial analysis of interview data from over seventy subjects from fifteen universities was done from a symbolic interactionism perspective. Initial findings are that university administrators are generally not aware of engineering education and the engineering education research body of knowledge is not generally used in day-to-day decision making. Thismore »