Course Descriptions

Engineering Education Foundation Courses:

ENE 50100: Seminar in Engineering Education
ENE 50200: History and Philosophy of Engineering Education
ENE 69500: Theories of Development and Engineering Thinking
ENE 69500: Leadership, Policy and Change in STEM Education
ENE 69500: Pedagogy, Content, and Assessment
ENE 69500: Engineering Education Inquiry
ENE 69000: Research Seminar in Engineering Education

Other Engineering Education Courses:
ENE 59500: Globalization and Engineering
ENE 59500: Cognitive Engineering
ENE 69500: Design Cognition and Learning
ENE 69500: Cognitive Devices in STEM Learning Environments
ENE 69500: Models & Modeling Perspective in Engineering Education
 ENE classroom experience

Engineering Education Foundation Courses:

ENE 50100: Seminar in Engineering Education

This course gives engineering education graduate students opportunities to define their roles within the school and within the field of engineering education. Students, faculty, and outside speakers will present research topics, academic opportunities, and other information that will enhance students' graduate experiences. Course learning objectives are the following:

  • Demonstrate an ability to critically reflect upon your learning goals and to articulate a learning plan
  • Obtain skills and knowledge needed to begin the graduate student journey such as grammar/writing information and research ethics
  • Interpret the graduate portfolio requirements to each student’s particular situation, background and interest
  • Identify and interact with members of the engineering education community at local and national levels
  • Develop a definition for diversity and reflect on its implications in the educational setting
  • Identify and utilize resources that will help you successfully complete your doctoral program and transition into the professional engineering education community
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ENE 50200: History and Philosophy of Engineering Education

History and philosophy are bodies of knowledge and modes of inquiry that both shape and are shaped by their socio‐cultural contexts. They are more than a chronology of events or grand statements—they are lenses for illuminating epistemologies of engineering, the principles, ideas, and methods that underlie what it means to know engineering, to be an engineer, practice engineering, and prepare others for engineering practice (e.g., instruction). It is through this inquiry process that we hope you begin to articulate your own role(s) in shaping engineering education as well as exploring ways of connecting your research and teaching interests. Our goal for this course is to provide a foundation for deeper investigation; while we realize that engineering has a long and inspired history, we will focus on the early 1800s to the present day in the United States. We encourage participants to bring their own international and historical perspectives. In this course we examine the history and philosophy of engineering education through tools and frameworks to guide critical reflection and analysis of philosophical, epistemological, and historical arguments. These tools include:

  1. reflective practice (in and on action) and “sitting comfortable with paradox” as a way of developing critical reflection competencies
  2. insider (engineers) and outsider (those who study engineers) perspectives as a way of revealing what engineers know and how they know it
  3. philosophies of education that argue for particular aims, purposes, and processes of education as a way of articulating a philosophy of engineering education ‐ 2 ‐
  4. archival research and historical documents as a way of revealing enacted philosophies of engineering education
  5. boundary work – the process of managing (policing?) the boundaries around what is included and what is excluded when considering the nature of engineering education

Common threads for discussion and reflection include:

  1. what is (and should be) engineering,
  2. what is (and should be) the purpose and process of engineering education,
  3. who gets to be an engineer (and who should be), and
  4. what shapes these decisions (and what should shape these decisions)? 
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ENE 69500: Theories of Development and Engineering Thinking

This foundational course examines theories of human development and epistemology in the context of Engineering Education.  Readings will guide an in-depth study of fundamental theories of development and knowledge generation as they relate to pedagogy and research.  A rich body of theoretical literature will be studied in order to explore its relation to the newly conceived discpline of engineering education.

This course will aim to construct answers to the following three questions:

  • How can theories of human development and epistemology help us think about engineering?
  • How are the various theories related to engineering education?
  • How do these theories inform new research questions in engineering education?
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ENE 69500: Leadership, Policy and Change in STEM Education

This course will be framed around a historical and current perspective of STEM policy across various educational domains (e.g., secondary and postsecondary), political organizations (state and national governments), and across different groups of people (e.g., students, teachers, and policymakers) and will examine the relationships among education policy, leadership theories, models of systemtic change and STEM constituents and organizations.  The class involves a combination of lecture, experiential exercises, discussion, group presentations, videos, individual assignments, and team assignments.  At the end of the course, students will have the opportunities to complete projects and/or write research proposals that explore ways that they might add to the scholarship of STEM education policy and influence leadership, policy, and organizational change as it relates to STEM education topics of their choosing.

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ENE 69500: Pedagogy, Content, and Assessment

Pedagogy, content, and assessment is a School of Engineering Education foundation course that is designed to provide the participants with a working knowledge of these three areas and especially the integration of these three areas for the design of learning modules, lessons, courses, and programs. The course features state-of-the-art ideas of our text authors - James Pelligrino, and Marilla Svinicki - and article authors, as well as the instructor's and participant's ideas.  The course features an integrated design approach and a hands-on project that is intended to help the participants learn the key elements and apply them in a real context.

The course is organized in five sections:

  1. Overview and Framing
  2. Content and Curriculum
  3. Assessment
  4. Pedagogy
  5. Sythesis and Application

As an ENE foundation course, the course is also design to:

  • Provide students with an understanding of theories, principles and practices in content, assessment, and pedagogy
  • Contribute to students' satisfying the Graduate Competencies
  • Provide some foundation regarding central research needs in engineering education
  • Provide opportunities and experiences to integrate content, assessment, and pedagogy
  • Provide a "community of practice" culture in which students have opportunities to form their own community as well as participate within the broader community of engineering education via engagement in our practices, methods, and beliefs
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ENE 69500: Engineering Education Inquiry

The research philosophy of this graduate level course on inquiry in the newly established field of Engineering Education rests on the assumption that multiple modes and disciplines of inquiry should be explored, adopted, and advocated as they are representative of contemporary academic thought. Research on learning, teaching, practice and policy as well as research design will be discussed through multiple paradigmatic lenses including positivist, post-positivist, post-modernist, constructivist, and critical theory. Ongoing discourse on the use of mixed and blended approaches and relationships between quantitative and qualitative methods allows for creative thinking and innovative practice that can reveal the complexity of phenomena under study. Critical thinking will be facilitated through discussion of readings from a variety of sources including engineering education research articles.

This course is designed to be a bridge between the student’s previous knowledge of engineering research and the new field of engineering education research.

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ENE 69000: Research Seminar in Engineering Education

Students must enroll in this course each Fall and Spring after completing ENE 50100, and they are expected to attend research seminars weekly in ENE or other departments as appropriate to their specialization or research topic.

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Other Engineering Education Courses:

ENE 59500: Effective Teaching in Engineering: Linking Theory and Practice

This course is designed to provide engineering graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) with a structured, integrated opportunity to make connections between education theory and teaching practice. This is accomplished by using a disciplined framework for gathering and interpreting evidence for demonstrating the competencies that were agreed to in a learning contract developed with a teaching mentor prior to taking up the teaching assignment.

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ENE 59500: Social Construction of Knowledge

Engaging deeply in theory is a central part of what it means to be and become an engineering education professional. Traversing these theories is a complex undertaking: engineering education sits at the intersection of multiple fields of expertise such as educational philosophy and policy, learning sciences, and cognitive psychology, as well as draws on multiple methodologies. At the same time, new developments in research and theory are constantly emerging and challenging current understandings. From a transformative learning lens, making sense of existing and emergent theories requires dialogue (conversational exchange and debate), discourse (systematically constructing and legitimating the worlds of which we speak), and support (safe environments for learning and multiple mechanisms for engagement).

The purpose of this course is to provide opportunities to socially construct knowledge around a shared topic of interest and for course participants (students, faculty, professional and postdoctoral staff) to define and meet their own learning goals in relation to this topic. While the topic may change over time, the 1-credit course structure will remain relatively constant – collectively reading, discussing, critiquing, synthesizing, and communicating ideas. The focus of these activities will be on co-constructing knowledge in terms of (1) the central ideas, (2) the use of these ideas in different contexts, and (3) the implications of these ideas for research and practice in engineering education. As such, the course explicitly links to the ENE PhD Competencies: synthesize knowledge, communicate knowledge, create knowledge, think critically and reflectively, engage in professional development, and participate actively in a professional community.

Topics have included:

  • Transformative Learning and Self-Authorship (Spring 2011)
  • Learning in Out-of-School and Informal Environments (Fall 2011, 2012)
  • Cross-disciplinary ways of thinking, acting and being (Spring 2012)
  • Conceptual Change in Engineering (Spring 2013)
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ENE 59500: Globalization and Engineering

This course deals with the history and dynamics of globalization and its impact on engineering practice and the lives and education of engineers. The course includes lectures by the instructor and by guest speakers representing industry and academia from all over the world

Topics include:

  • global migration of highly-skilled people
  • free flow of capital and the globalization of R&D investment
  • world trade of commodities and high-tech products
  • global value chains and the process of innovation
  • role of multinational and metanational corporations
  • role of intellectual property and the global spread of technology
  • global outsourcing and off-shoring of engineering jobs and services
  • global convergence of engineering education and life-long learning
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ENE 59500: Cognitive Engineering

This course deals with fundamentals of cognitive engineering and user-centered design. The course is designed to introduce students to different disciplinary approaches and respective interpretations of what it means to do user-centered and learner-centered design. Students receive an introduction into the psychological make-up of individuals and insight on cognitive and socio-cognitive theories of how people differently perceive and interact with the world and others, as well as an introduction to principles of how people learn. The course takes an experiential (experience yourself) and pragmatist (learning by doing) approach. Students will experience individual differences by learning more about themselves (as individuals and in group) with the use of a variety of psychometric instruments and exercises and conducting usability testing of existing products and their interaction with users. In addition, students are introduced to a systematic design process s in applying the newly acquired knowledge to develop life-long learning skills and re-design and prototype everyday life products with the end-user in mind.

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ENE 69500: Design Cognition and Learning

Design is central to engineering: it is an integral part of the profession and how we describe the competency of future professionals, and it is integrated in how we educate engineers. Design cognition and learning is an area of research that seeks to understand what designers know, how designers develop as practicing professionals, and what tools best support design activity (e.g., collaboration, innovation, etc.). This research draws from many perspectives including cognitive psychology, learning sciences, organizational learning, engineering, product design, architecture, human-centered interaction, and creativity and innovation. The objective of this course is to “unpack” design cognition and learning through multiple perspectives with an ultimate goal of motivating efforts to enable design learning and effective design practice.

Themes in the course include:

  • What is design knowledge?
  • What theories help understand design knowing and learning?
  • What are ways to study designers and design activity?
  • How may design research inform design education and practice?
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 ENE 69500: Cognitive Devices in STEM Learning Environments

Science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines require comprehension of complex interactions of a system.  Experts in these disciplines continually invent new devices for managing this complexity which they use to support their inquiring into new discoveries and innovations.  These tools are underutilized in our educational learning environments, and more can be done to systematically integrate them into our PreK-16 educational processes.

Cognitive devices provide the ability to extend and amplify our abilities to accomplish physical and intellectual activities.  In some cases these devices help us develop abilities we can perform later without the use of the device.  Other tools become integral parts of our process of thinking and doing.  This course explores the nature of technologies we use to assist in our thinking, learning and teaching.  We will specifically focus on cognitive tools associated with engineering activities and how to blend them with science and mathematical contexts.  These will range from representational tools, computational tools and cognitive tools for supporting group thinking and learning.

The participants in this course will be able to evaluate various learning technologies relative to specific learning goals and outcomes and will design a technological tool to support thinking, learning and/or teaching about concepts in science, engineering, mathematics and technology. Participants will also be able to identify assessment methods that indicate cognitive change in learners as a measure of the effectiveness of a device/tool in context of an activity. Participants will propose a research study to explore the hypothesis of a cognitive device they will design as part of a course. And/or a study an existing cognitive device to investigate a new research question.

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 ENE 69500: Models & Modeling Perspective in Engineering Education

The purpose of this course is to expose you to the models and modeling perspective and explore how curriculum and research are related and complementary to each other. This three-credit hour graduate level course will focus on both model-eliciting activity (MEA) development and research into student thinking around a fundamental concept embedded in an MEA. Students taking this course will experience an MEA from a student perspective and assess the quality of student work from an instructor/researcher perspective.

The first part of this course will focus on research-informed curriculum development. You will not only read about and discuss the models and modeling perspective, you will also solve a MEA in teams and then deconstruct the MEA to learn about the models and modeling perspective. You will then participate in first-year engineering teaching assistant training with this MEA. This will allow you to experience the instructor side of the implementation and learn about research-based MEA assessment/evaluation strategies. You will also see the student side by observing a first-year student team during the classroom implementation of the MEA. This part of the course will conclude with a project in which you will apply the models and modeling perspective in the design of an engineering-based MEA for a specific course.

The second part of this course will focus on design-based research methods as a means of learning about student thinking and curriculum improvement. After reading about similar prior research, you will analyze first-year student work and/or instructor or peer feedback around mathematical conceptions on a particular MEA implemented in the course in a prior semester and recommend improvements to the instructional system. The final products will be documented in the form of conference papers with potential for presentation at an American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Conference or Frontiers in Education (FIE) Conference. In past semesters, papers have been submitted and accepted to conferences after the course.

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