Engineering Education Research

The School of Engineering Education's extensive research program offers national leadership in building the scholarly discipline of engineering education, and it provides a strong foundation for our graduate program and INSPIRE (Research Institute for Pre-College Engineering). Research areas span a range of categories; see below for representative topics.

Knowing our students

  • diversity: race/ethnicity, class, and gender
  • large-scale data analysis
  • motivation and careers in STEM
  • P-12 engineering education
  • developmental engineering
  • recruitment, retention, and student success
  • self-efficacy and career identity building

Engineering ways of thinking, knowing, and doing

  • engineering epistemologies
  • adaptive expertise in engineering context
  • design thinking and engineering decision-making
  • global engineering and international perspectives
  • mathematical thinking
  • thinking and working in multi-, inter-, and transdisciplinary ways

Supporting and assessing engineering learning

  • conceptual change and concept inventories
  • cyberlearning and cyber-environments
  • design of learning environments
  • instrument design and survey development
  • learning in out-of-school and informal environments
  • models and modeling
  • service and experiential learning
  • teaming and collaborative learning

Transforming engineering education systems

  • theories of change for engineering education
  • history and nature of engineering
  • leadership and policy
  • evolution of the engineering education research community
  • faculty and graduate student professional development

Many of these research activities can be mapped to the research agenda defined in the Steering Committee of the National Engineering Education Research Colloquies' Special Report "The Research Agenda for the New Discipline of Engineering Education," Journal of Engineering Education, 94(4), pp. 257-261 (2006).