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  1. This Work-in-Progress paper studies the mental models of engineering faculty regarding assessment, focusing on their use of metaphors. Assessments are crucial components in courses as they serve various purposes in the learning and teaching process, such as gauging student learning, evaluating instructors and course design, and documenting learning for accountability. Thus, when it comes to faculty development on teaching, assessments should consistently be considered while discussing pedagogical improvements. To contribute to faculty development research, our study illuminates several metaphors engineering faculty use to discuss assessment concepts and knowledge. This paper helps to answer the research question: which metaphors do faculty use when talking about assessment in their classrooms? Through interviews grounded in mental model theory, six metaphors emerged: (1) cooking, (2) playing golf, (3) driving a car, (4) coaching football, (5) blood tests, (6) and generically playing a sport or an instrument. Two important takeaways stemmed from the analysis. First, these metaphors were experiences commonly portrayed in the culture in which the study took place. This is important to note for someone working in faculty development as these metaphors may create communication challenges. Second, the mental model approach showed potential in eliciting ways engineering faculty describe and discuss assessments, offering opportunities for future research and practice in faculty development. The lightning talk will present further details on the findings. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available June 1, 2024
  2. Abstract

    Although advising relationships are key for doctoral student success, little research has addressed how they form. Understanding the formation of advising relationships can help contextualize their later development and ultimately support a student’s decision to persist in the doctorate. To understand relationship formation, the purpose of this qualitative study is to identify and describe the types of advisor–advisee selection processes that exist in engineering, science, and math doctoral programs and examine patterns across disciplines within those fields. We conducted interviews with doctoral program directors and engaged in document analysis of graduate student handbooks from 55 doctoral programs in the aforementioned fields in high research institutions across the United States. Using principal–agent theory as a theoretical lens, our findings showed that engineering programs tend to decentralize the advisor selection process by funding students across different funding sources upon enrollment. Contrariwise, science and math programs tended to fund all students in a cohort from a common funding source, which allowed students to have more time to gather information, meet, and select an advisor. These findings also show important nuances when comparing graduate education in these programs that directly impact the doctoral student experience and reiterates the necessity to study these fields separately.

     
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  3. In this Research Full Paper we explore the factors that traditionally minoritized students consider when selecting a graduate school to pursue a doctoral degree in an engineering discipline. To this end, we used case study methods to analyze the experiences of ten traditionally minoritized students through interviews conducted immediately after they had selected their graduate programs, but before they had commenced their studies. Our findings show that in choosing an institution, the most salient ideals these students hold are related to the offer of funding towards their degree and an alignment with their initial research interests. However, they described having made compromises on ideals related to their personal experience and racial identity, the most prominent being finding a faculty mentor with a similar racial background, finding a racially diverse institution, or being located in a geographical location they perceived to be more amenable to their individual identities. These findings suggest that continuing to increase the recruitment of traditionally minoritized faculty in engineering schools would have a direct impact on minoritized student recruitment, by thus helping to create spaces where more of their racial identity ideals are met and fewer compromises are made. Equally important to the recruitment of traditionally minoritized students is the transparency of funding opportunities during the recruitment and application processes, and the publication of current research opportunities within the institution. 
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  4. In this Lessons Learned paper, we describe the implementation of an on-campus workshop focused on supporting faculty as they develop metacognitive interventions for their educational contexts. This on-campus workshop at Duke University included faculty from engineering as well as other faculty from campus and was developed and implemented by members of the Skillful Learning Institute Team. First, we describe the purpose and intent of the workshop by the host institution (Duke University) and the workshop development team (Skillful-Learning Institute Team). We then provide the workshop overview across the two day period, including a description of instruction provided and structured breakout sessions. Next, we provide a lessons learned section from the perspectives of the host institution and the workshop developers. Finally, we offer insights into how those lessons learned are being incorporated into the development of future workshops. By providing the two perspectives, our lessons learned should help those who invite speakers in for faculty development and those who are creating faculty development activities. 
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  5. Abstract Background

    Calls to improve learning in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM), and particularly engineering, present significant challenges for school systems. Partnerships among engineering industry, universities, and school systems to support learning appear promising, but current work is limited in its conclusions because it lacks a strong connection to theoretical work in interorganizational collaboration.

    Purpose/Hypothesis

    This study aims to reflect more critically on the process of how organizations build relationships to address the following research question: In a public–private partnership to integrate engineering into middle school science curriculum, how do stakeholder characterizations of the collaborative process align with existing frameworks of interorganizational collaboration?

    Design/Method

    This qualitative, embedded multiple case study considered in‐depth pre‐ and post‐year interviews with teachers, administrators, industry, and university personnel during the first year of the Partnering with Educators and Engineers in Rural Schools (PEERS) program. Transcripts were analyzed using a framework of interorganizational collaboration operationalized for our context.

    Results

    Results provide insights into stakeholder perceptions of collaborative processes in the first year of the PEERS program across dimensions of collaboration. These dimensions mapped to three central discussion points with relevance for school–university–industry partnerships: school collaboration as an emergent and negotiated process, tension in collaborating across organizations, and fair share in collaborating toward a social goal.

    Conclusions

    Taking a macro‐level look at the collaborative processes involved enabled us to develop implications for collaborative stakeholders to be intentional about designing for future success. By systematically applying a framework of collaboration and capitalizing on the rich situational findings possible through a qualitative approach, we shift our understanding of collaborative processes in school–university–industry partnerships for engineering education and contribute to the development of collaboration theory.

     
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  6. Abstract Background

    The use of metacognition is critical to learning, especially in fields such as engineering that involve problem‐solving and difficult conceptual material. Due to limitations with current methodological approaches, new methods are needed to investigate engineering students' metacognitive engagement in learning situations that are self‐directed, such as study groups.

    Purpose

    Our purpose was to develop an approach to investigate the metacognitive engagement of undergraduate engineering students in self‐directed learning environments. The Naturalistic Observations of Metacognition in Engineering (NOME) Observational Protocol and Coding Strategy is a qualitative data collection method that allows researchers to observe the behaviors of students who are studying in groups to determine the student's engagement in different metacognitive practices. The NOME is intended to be used by researchers interested in studying online metacognitive behaviors without the direct interference of a methodological approach.

    Design/Method

    We observed three study groups where students were working on an engineering problem‐solving homework assignment. Using a taxonomic definition of metacognition, we coded episodes of observation transcripts to identify behaviors that represented key definitions in the taxonomy.

    Results

    We combined subcodes and descriptions of behaviors with key definitions to develop a coding strategy useful for future observational studies. Evidence of intercoder agreement and agreement in unitizing indicates that the coding strategy can reliably be used by multiple trained coders to identify metacognitive engagement.

    Conclusions

    The reliability evidence shows that the NOME may be a useful tool for researchers in engineering education interested in studying the metacognitive habits of engineering students in self‐directed study.

     
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