Tackling the Research-to-Teaching Challenge in Engineering Design Education: Making the Invisible Visible

Jennifer Turns, Monica Cardella, Cynthia J. Atman, Josh Martin, and Joshua Newman
College of Engineering, University of Washington, Box 352195, Seattle, WA 98195-2195, USA
E-mail: jturns@u.washington.edu

Robin S. Adams
Department of Engineering Education, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907-2016, USA

Abstract:
Translating research results into everyday teaching practice is notoriously difficult. In this paper, we focus on the growing body of research on design knowing and learning, and examine and make visible opportunities for getting this research to positively impact teaching in engineering design education. Core to the paper is the position that successful efforts to get research to impact teaching will involve an emphasis on educators and their teaching practice. In this paper, we situate our position in scholarly thinking concerning the research-to-teaching challenge, present results of an empirical analysis of current teaching practice in design education, and describe an on-going approach for supporting research into teaching that follows from the empirical results. We close with the observation that information on the decision making strategies of engineering design educators could be particularly helpful for getting research to affect teaching practice in engineering design education.

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