You are here

Research

The Department of Engineering Education (EED) is a newly formed unit at The Ohio State University. Our faculty are conducting groundbreaking research in many areas, including: 

Diversity and Inclusion

Research in this area examines factors contributing to and impacts from underrepresented groups in engineering. Current research projects include: 

Engineering Education for Students with Visual Impairments (EEVI) Project - Grzybowski, Deborah 

Engineering Education for Students with Visual Impairments (EEVI) is a two-year professional development (PD) program for teachers of students with visual impairments (TVI), targeting grades 5-12 focused around bio-engineering. Many studies show that students with visual impairments struggle to learn science because of difficulties with grasping abstract concepts in science, the subject that is often taught using visual materials.  Students commonly rely on tactile or hands-on experience in the classroom, but the available resources are limited.  Students with visual impairments often struggle to understand abstract concepts because of the lack of visual input. We are using 3D printed models along with integrating 3D printers in the classroom and supporting the TVI's with education on use of designing models using CAD software.

Citations: 

1. Wild, T., Grzybowski, D.M., Yang, S.J., Upton, J. “Engineering Education for Teachers of Students with Visual Impairment Professional Development Program”, J. Visual Impairment & Blindness, in review.
 2. Grzybowski, D.M., Wild, T., Yang, S.J. “Engineering Education for Students with Visual Impairments.” 2017 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference, Columbus, OH, June 2017.
3. Grzybowski, D.M., Wild, T., Yang, S.J. “Engineering Education for Students with Visual Impairments.” Association for the Education and Rehabilitation of the Blind and Visually Impaired of Ohio Conference 2016, Worthington, OH, November 2016.
4. Wild, T., Grzybowski, D.M., Yang, S.J. “EEVI: Engineering Education for Students with Visual Impairments.” Council for Exceptional Children, Boston, MA, April 20, 2017
5. Grzybowski, D.M., Wild, T. “EEVI:  Engineering Education for Students with Visual Impairments.” National Science Teachers Association, Columbus, OH, December 1, 2016.

More than recruitment and outreach: Diversity and inclusion in engineering education curricula and classrooms - Kuzawa, Deborah 

This work-in-progress explores how engineering education might better engage with and teach issues of diversity and conclusion and how Diversity and Inclusion might be central to engineering education curricula. If engineering education makes diversity and inclusion an explicit pillar in our curricula and classrooms, there is the potential to patch the leaky pipeline by improving engineering culture for not just underrepresented groups but everyone and increase the overall diversity and strength of engineering disciplines.

Citations:

1. Kuzawa, D. (2017, March). More than recruitment and outreach: Diversity and inclusion in engineering education curricula and classrooms. Paper presented as the American Society of Engineering Education Zone 2 Conference, San Juan, Puerto Rico. 

Design

Research in this area examines the development and assessment of design in engineering students and professionals. Current research projects include: 

Service learning and real-world client-centered student design projects - Christy, Ann

Best practices in engagement between an academic institution and the community are characterized by mutually beneficial relationships, clear inclusion of the community partner's voice, intentional reflection by the students on their experiences, and a longer length of commitment. Service learning is built upon a foundational educational theory of constructivism where students make practical connections between what they have learned in their engineering classrooms, what they have experienced in the past, and the service project itself. In addition, it enhances student motivation because students feel that they are making a positive difference in the world beyond their engineering studies.

Citations:

1. Lima, M., and Christy, A.D. 2017. Service learning in biological and agricultural engineering: Journeys in community engagement. ASEE Annual Conference, American Society for Engineering Education. Paper No. AC 2017-20133. 7 p.
2. Hughes, Kerry L., Andy D. Ward, and Ann D. Christy. 2002. A new engineering course closes the education gap in applying natural channel concepts to engineering design. Ohio Journal of Science 102(1): A-34-35.
3. Christy, A.D., M. Lima, and A.D. Ward. 2000. Implementing real-world problem solving projects in a team setting.  National Association of Colleges and Teachers of Agriculture Journal 44(3): 72-77.
4. Christy, Ann D., Julie Weatherington-Rice, and Andy D. Ward. 2000.  Use of a Superfund site as a hands-on learning laboratory for engineering design students.  Ohio Journal of Science 100(1): A-27.
5. Christy, A.D., and M. Lima. 1999. Biological engineering student design projects with real clients. 1999 ASEE Annual Conference Proceedings, American Society for Engineering Education. 7p. (Peer reviewed).

Implementing an Open-Ended Game Software Design Project in First-Year Engineering - Kecskemety, Krista

End-of-semester software design projects in first-year engineering courses that teach computer programming should engage students with the material learned. This study examines using game design and creation as a way to increase student engagement and learning outcomes.

Citations:

1. Kecskemety, K.M., Theiss, A.H., and Kajfez, R.L., (2015). Enhancing TA Grading of Technical Writing: A Look Back to Better Understand the Future. 122nd American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition, June 14-17, Seattle, WA.

2. Kecskemety, K.M., Theiss, A.H., and Kajfez, R.L., (2015). Enhancing TA Grading of Technical Writing: Developing a New Tool Based on Feedback. First Year Engineering Experience Conference, Aug 2-4, Roanoke/Blacksburg, VA.

Professional Development of Engineers

Research in this area examines factors in the development of engineers as professionals. Current research projects include:

Professional development for students - Christy, Ann

To be successful in their careers, engineers need to be proficient in both technical and nontechnical skills. Often these nontechnical skills do not receive as much emphasis in undergraduate engineering education and instead must be learned on the job, learning "soft skills the hard way". Opportunities exist in current engineering curricula to better integrate the development of these nontechnical skills into students' experience.

Citations:

1. Christy, A. D. 2014. Students' selection of topics for a professional development course. ASEE Annual Conference, American Society for Engineering Education. Paper No. AC 2014-10643. 5 p.
2. Christy, A.D.  2011. Engaging Students to Prepare them for the Engineering Profession and Reflect upon their Undergraduate Career. American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers (ASABE) Annual International Meeting. ASABE Paper No.11-11605. St. Joseph, Mich: ASABE. 8p.

Development of Empathy within student particpants of Community Engagement - Delaine, David

Empathy has been shown to correlate with success in the professional engineering workforce, yet engineering education has limited success including it within core curricula. It has been suggested that participation in community engagement activities can positively impact empathy. This research seeks to verify this impact through defining and measuring gains in empathy of students participating in community engagement activities. Through complementing existing empathy measures with qualitative analysis, the essence of how empathy is changed in student engineers as a result of participation in community engagement is revealed.

Citations: 

1. D. Delaine, J.R. Cardoso, J. Walther. “Qualitative Analysis of Boundary Spanning Implications within Interviews of Engagement Stakeholders.” Proceedings of the 122nd ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Seattle, Washington, June 14 – 17, 2015.

Pedagogies, Assessment, and Evaluation 

Research in this area examines classroom practices and measures the impact of these practices on student learning, motivation, and attitudes. Current research projects include:

Student Perspectives on Researcher Identity and Transformed Epistemologies (SPRITE) - Kajfez, Rachel

Undergraduate research experiences have been shown to positively influence students' retention in engineering.  Despite this impact, little is known about their epistemic or identity development through these experiences.  Funded by the National Science Foundation, this research fills that gap and will results in tangible pedagogical techniques that will infuse elements of a research experience into classrooms.

Citations: 

1. McAlister, A. M., Lee, D. M., Ehlert, K. M., Kajfez, R. L., Faber, C. J., & Kennedy, M. S. (2017). Qualitative coding: An approach to assess inter-rater reliability. Paper to be presented at the 124th American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, OH.
2. Benson, L. C., Faber, C. J., Kajfez, R. L., Kennedy, M. S., Ehlert, K. M., Lee, D. M., & McAlister, A. M., (2017). Assessing students’ researcher identity and epistemic cognition. Poster to be presented at the 124th American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, OH.
3. Faber, C. J., Benson, L. C., Kennedy, M. S., Kajfez, R. L., Vargas, P. M. D., Ehlert, K. M., & McAlister A. M. (2016). Understanding undergraduate engineering researchers and how they learn. Paper presented at the 46th ASEE/IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, Erie, PA.
4. Kajfez, R. L., McAlister, A. M., Faber, C. J., Ehlert, K. M., Lee, D. M., Benson, L. C., & Kennedy, M. S. (2017). Exploring undergraduate engineering researchers’ identities and epistemologies: Who are they and what do they believe. Paper presented at the American Educational Research Association 2017 Annual Meeting, San Antonia, TX.

Development and Validation of Assessments for Industry-Valued Professional and Technical Learning Outcomes in Engineering Education - Rogers, Peter

Curriculum change needed to help engineers meet future global challenges requires the ability to identify and accurately measure learning outcomes.  Although many industry-valued KSAs are practiced and assessed in engineering capstone courses, most assessments are unproven for evaluating individual student achievement of KSAs. This project builds on previous work and, based upon the prioritized needs of over 900 industry representatives, the project team is focused on creating valid assessments for individual motivation in capstone employing seven diverse universities as pilot sites.

Citations: 

1. P. Rogers, D. Davis, et al, “Work in Progress: Assessing Motivation in Capstone Design”, in American Society for Engineering Education, Columbus, OH, 2017.
2. P. Rogers, D. Davis, et al, “Early Validation of the Motivation in Team Projects (MTP) Assessment”, in American Society for Engineering Education, Columbus, OH, 2017.

Technical Communication 

Research in this area examines best practices in developing and assessing communication skills in engineering students. Current research projects include:

Writing as knowing: Creative knowing through multiple messaging modes in an engineering technical communications course - Kuzawa, Deborah

This chapter examines how creative ways of knowing can impact and improve STEM technical communications, focusing on pedagogy and projects used in an engineering technical communications course. The primary argument is that writing provides a way of engaging with and creating knowledge about technical topics, and composing in multiple modes provides multiple opportunities to understand and engage with a topic from a different perspective.

Citations:

1. Herman, J., Kuzawa, D., Hall, L., Faure, M. & Wahlin, L. (2016). Writing as knowing: Creative knowing through multiple messaging modes in an engineering technical communications course. In D. Bairaktarova & M. Eodice  (eds.) Creative Ways of Knowing in Engineering. New York: Springer. 

Grading Training of Technical Writing Assignments in First-Year Engineering - Kecskemety, Krista

Teaching technical writing in first-year engineering courses and using teaching assistants to assess the writing requires training.  This project examined an improved training effort for teaching assistants in grading technical writing. 

Citations:

1. Kecskemety, K.M., Theiss, A.H., and Kajfez, R.L., (2015). Enhancing TA Grading of Technical Writing: A Look Back to Better Understand the Future. 122nd American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition, June 14-17, Seattle, WA.
2. Kecskemety, K.M., Theiss, A.H., and Kajfez, R.L., (2015). Enhancing TA Grading of Technical Writing: Developing a New Tool Based on Feedback. First Year Engineering Experience Conference, Aug 2-4, Roanoke/Blacksburg, VA.

Strategic Partnerships 

Research in this area examines engineering in a broader cultural context and examines educational practices that instill strategic partnership understanding in engineering students. Current research projects include:

International design projects linking study abroad and capstone courses - Christy, Ann

An international education program was developed to provide global design experiences for engineering students in the United States and South Africa, while creating sustainable solutions for impoverished communities in South Africa. Engineering students visited South Africa and worked on projects that they identified while in that country, including improvements in compressed earthen blocks for rural Zulu home construction, rooftop rainwater collection to supplement scarce water allotments at government-supplied housing, community garden irrigation and greywater reuse at Muzi Thusi Elementary School, tower gardens at several locations, and cellulosic ethanol production from sugarcane.

Citations:

1. Ward, Andy, Ann Christy, Robert Gustafson, Jessica D'Ambrosio, and Kurt Paterson. 2009. Globalizing Engineering Education: Lessons Learned from Africa and USA Partnerships. 2009 ASEE Annual Conference, American Society for Engineering Education. June 15-17, 2009. Paper # AC 2009-2207. 16 p.
2. Christy, Ann, Andy Ward, Jeff Hughes, Simon Lorentz, and Bethany Corcoran. 2008. An Experiential and Service Learning Capstone design Initiative in South Africa. 2008 ASEE Global Colloquium, American Society for Engineering Education. CapeTown, South Africa, October 2008. Paper # GC 2008-124. 11 p.
3. Ward, Andy D., Kerry Hughes Zwierschke, Carol Moody, and Ann D. Christy. 2007. Developing Sustainable Solutions for Impoverished Communities in South Africa: A Student Centered and Service Learning Capstone Design Experience. American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers Annual Meeting.   ASABE Paper 07-8018. 8 p.

Boundary Spanning with Engineering Education and Community Engagement - Delaine, David

A framework is presented to provide guidelines for the implementation of a Boundary Spanner, or individual who links a university to its outside partners, to improve upon university/community engagement. A Boundary Spanner is systematically implemented to evaluate university/community engagement in order to provide insight into the interconnections between stakeholders to increase mutual benefits. This research will strategically use boundary spanning within case studies to minimize barriers, increase outcomes, and more clearly understand how boundary spanner interventions can systematically impact university/community engagement.

Citations: 

1. D. Delaine, J.R. Cardoso, J. Walther. “A Boundary Spanner Intervention for Increasing Community Engagement Outcomes – Phase 1: Framing Case Studies in Context.” Proceedings of the World Engineering Education Forum 2014, Dubai, United Arab Emirates.

Engineering in P-12

Research in this area examines P-12 students and teachers as they relate to engineering. Current research projects include: 

EiE-Ohio - Kajfez, Rachel

Led by colleagues in Education and Human Ecology, this work aims to better prepare elementary and middle school teachers to teach engineering design using the Engineering is Elementary curriculum.  The work has evolved over the years to include the arts as a critical component of the STEM work.

Citations:

1. Irving, K.E., Malone, K.L., Tiarani, V., Giasi, T., & Kajfez, R. (2017).  EiE-Ohio – Building 21st century learners.  Paper presented at ASTE 2017: The 2017 International Conference of the Association of Science Teacher Education, Des Moines, IA. 
2. Tiarani, V., Malone, K, Irving, K. E., Giasi, T., & Kajfez, R. (2016). "They fix stuff": Elementary students’ views about engineering and technology. Paper presented at the 2016 Indonesia Focus Conference, Lexington, KY.
3. Irving, K. E., Malone, K., Tiarani, V., Giasi, T., & Kajfez, R. (2016).  The EiE-Ohio project: Building 21st century learners in high needs elementary school. Paper presented at the 2016 Mid-Atlantic ASTE Regional Conference, Gatlinburg, TN. 
4. Tiarani, V., Malone, K, Irving, K. E., Giasi, T., & Kajfez, R. (2016).  Elementary students’ views about engineering and technology. Paper presented at the 2016 Mid-Atlantic ASTE Regional Conference, Gatlinburg, TN.  

smART: ART Integrated Formal and Informal STEAM Education - Grzybowski, Deborah

Engineering is an inherently creative process. The smART project seeks to engage underrepresented populations in those creative processes and in so doing, generate a better understanding of the interrelated domains of engineering, science, technology and visual art. Research has shown that some individuals avoid STEM engagement due to fear and/or lack of exposure to STEM concepts in their early years. Often these same individuals self-select into the arts. Moreover, the engineering workforce lacks gender and racial/ethnic diversity, which limits its creative potential. To explore this issue, this project uses an arts-oriented approach within a multi-cultural after-school setting to create a more diverse pool of students and teachers who are STEM literate and STEM comfortable. The project has produced a comprehensive arts-integrated STEM curriculum for middle-school informal learning environments.

Citations:

1. Dixon, K., Barton, M., Le, J.V., Castro, C.E., Richardson, O.R., Grzybowski, D.M. “Making Meaning through Art-Integrated Engineering.” 2017 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference, Columbus, OH, June 2017.
2. Dixon, K. & Grzybowski, D.M. “Design as the Practice of Probability: Engaging Adolescent Girls in Art-Infused Engineering.” 2016 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference, New Orleans, LA, June 2016.