Hot off the press: Research methodologies to link theory with practice

ejee cover

The cover design for EJEE

Our 12-member governing board of the Research in Engineering Education Network (REEN) aims to increase the quality and visibility of engineering education research globally. We do this by:

 

  • Organizing the Research in Engineering Education Symposium (REES) that is held every other year to encourage dialogue, networking, idea-sharing, and skill-building among engineering educators. You can join us in Cape Town for REES 2019, July 10-12, 2019.
  • Assisting local REES hosts in publishing the proceedings of the REES conferences.
  • Organizing and publishing special focus journal issues showcasing research conducted for dissemination at REES that carries the research findings far beyond the confines of the REES meeting itself.

Today, REEN received good news from one of our Board members, Professor Jonte Bernhard from Linköping University’s Department of Science and Technology in Norrköping, Sweden. Jonte and I are the two European Representatives on REEN. Every continent (except Antarctica) is represented on our Board.

Jonte happily announced:

the EJEE special issue based on REES 2015 in Dublin is now finally published online (individual papers have been published earlier) as vol. 44, issue 1-2: https://www.tandfonline.com/toc/ceee20/44/1-2

This issue is on “Research methodologies that link theory and practice” which was the focus of the REES 2015 meeting in Dublin. You can read for free the EJEE Editorial for Special Issue: Research Methodologies that link theory and practice written by principal guest editor Anne Gardner with co-editors Jonte Bernhard, Sally Male, and Jennifer Turns. Your library may provide you with access to the paid articles. The list of articles is extensive.

Some have to do with design education (a favorite topic of mine!):

A major goal is to get engineering students to engage–especially in dealing with tough, complex, and wicked- or ill-structured problems, the way I observe architecture students do:

One of the papers in this journal has to do with the benefits of getting students to write, something I’ve published on before:

Two articles deal with spatial perception, an area where the Dublin hosts of REES 2015 have developed expertise with the help of expert Professor Sherly Sorby:

Other articles in the issue include:

Congratulations to all the authors published in this journal. Well done and keep raising the bar for us all!

Marie Curie Fellowship, Interim Report

I’ve produced a report of the work I’ve done in the past year, and thought that readers of this blog might be interested to see it. Not the most thrilling reading, but it might be useful to other MSCA Individual Fellows to see how I’ve structured this, and what I’ve managed to achieve in twelve months as a Research Fellow at University College London.

MSCA Log of Activities conducted in the first year by MSCA IF Prof. Shannon Chance 

(01 January 2018 – 31 December 2018)

This interim report summarizes work and achievements resulting from year one of a Marie Sklodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) fellowship provided the European Union. This fellowship runs 1 January 2018 until 31 December 2019.

Call identifier         H2020-MSCA-IF-2016

Project number      747069

Project acronym     DesignEng

Project title            Designing Engineers: Harnessing the Power of Design Projects to Spur Cognitive and Epistemological Development of STEM Students

We are delighted to report outcomes of the training and mutual learning of MSCA Research Fellow Professor Shannon Chance alongside her primary MSCA supervisor Professor Nick Tyler, her informal second MSCA supervisor Professor John Mitchell, her colleagues from University College London (UCL) and its Centre for Engineering Education (CEE), and her colleagues from Technological University Dublin (TU Dublin, formerly DIT) and its CREATE research group. The achievements identified in this report reflect the positive learning environment at the host institution (UCL) and ongoing positive relationships with the home institution (TU Dublin).

This mid-project report provides a log of activities conducted in 2018, the first 12 months of this fellowship, by MSCA Research Fellow Professor Shannon Chance. The work plan proposed in the fellowship application has been followed, and the researcher development activities promised in the six Work Packages are on track. Allowing for a small degree of variation from details of original proposal yet thoroughly meeting the intent—at the overall level as well as within each work package—we report that all milestones have been met, and all promised items have been either produced or on track to be produced on time.

WP1, Qualitative studies

Conducted interviews with 15 final-year women studying engineering in Ireland, and worked with teachers at my home institution to implement findings to enhance their teaching practice.

Designed a research study and conducted a literature review on global responsibility in civil engineering. Obtained ethics approval to proceed with the study. Prepared an extensive mid-project report for Engineers without Borders UK.

Designed a study on conceptualizations of architecture and civil engineering students, obtained ethics approval to proceed with the study, and conducted three pilot interviews to test the interview protocol.

Assisted in the design of a study of student experiences and expectations in UCL’s Integrated Engineering Programme (IEP) and provided advice throughout the ethics application and data collection process.

Assisted in the development of a manuscript reporting a systematic review of the literature on “grit”.

Published three conference papers disseminating findings of my empirical research under this work package and presented them at ASEE, ICL, and SEFI.

  • CHANCE, S. M. & Williams, W. (2018). Preliminary findings of a phenomenological study of Middle Eastern women’s experiences studying engineering in Ireland. American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) conference in Salt Lake City, Utah.
  • CHANCE, S. M. & Direito, I. (2018). Preliminary findings of a systematic review of doctoral theses in engineering education that have used phenomenological methods. European Society for Engineering Education (SEFI) conference in Copenhagen, Denmark.
  • CHANCE, S. M. & Williams, W. (2018). Middle Eastern Women’s Experiences of Collaborative Learning in Engineering in Ireland. International Conference on Interactive Collaborative Learning (ICL) in Kos Island, Greece.

Submitted the final draft for publication (based on a 2017 conference presentation) in the proceedings of the UK Royal Academy of Engineering’s EERN, Engineering Education Research Network

Submitted a draft journal article to SRHE’s consultant for the journal PRHE for advice.

  • CHANCE, S. M., Maguire, R., Direito, I., Gleeson-Mills, A., & Eddy, P. L. (first draft). National STEM educational policies: Their relation to girls’ experiences in physics across Europe and to the engineering pipeline. Policy Reviews in Higher Education.

Made additional presentations of my empirical research under this work package at SRHE and EERN:

  • CHANCE, S. M. (2018). Summary of National STEM Educational Policies in Relation to Girls’ Experiences in Physics in Europe and into the Engineering Pipeline. Society for Research in Higher Education conference 2018 in Newcastle, UK.
  • CHANCE, S. M. (2018). Summary of National STEM Educational Policies in Relation to Girls’ Experiences in Physics in Europe and into the Engineering Pipeline. Society for Research in Higher Education conference 2018 in Newcastle, UK.
  • Leão, C. P., Soares, F., Williams, B., & CHANCE, S. (2018). Challenges, experiences and advantages in being a female engineering student: Voices in the first person. Presentation at the UK & Ireland Engineering Education Research Network (EERN) annual conference 2018 in Portsmouth.
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Presentation at SRHE 2018

WP2, Mixed-methods study

Published one conference paper and delivered one presentation, disseminating findings of my empirical research under this work package.

  • CHANCE, S. M. & Duffy, G. (2018). A model for spurring organizational change based on faculty experiences working together to implement Problem-Based Learning. American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) conference in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Submitted a complete manuscript that uses multiple methodologies for review by EJEE, received instructions to revise and resubmit, and submitted a revised version for the second round of peer reviews.

  • CHANCE, S. M., Duffy, G., & Bowe, B. (in press). Comparing grounded theory and phenomenology as methods to understand lived experience of engineering educators implementing Problem-Based Learning. European Journal of Engineering Education. 
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Recent journals on engineering and higher education

WP3, Special focus journal

(I proposed delivering one special focus issue over two years and have exceeded this goal.)

Spearheaded a special focus issue on diversity in electrical and electronic engineering that was published November 2018, and served as lead author of the guest editors’ statement.

  • CHANCE, S., Bottomly, L., Panetta, K., & Williams, B. (Eds.). (November, 2018). Special focus issue on gender in engineering in the IEEE Transactions on Education.
  • CHANCE, S., Bottomly, L., Panetta, K., & Williams, B. (Eds.). (November, 2018). Guest Editorial Special Issue on Increasing the Socio-Cultural Diversity of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Related Fields. IEEE Transactions on Education, (61)4, 261-264.

I am spearheading another special focus issue on using design to spur epistemological and identity development among engineering students underway and ahead of schedule: Call for papers issued (m1), Proposals arrive (m4), Proposals selected for continuation (m6), Full drafts received (m14), Reviews returned to authors (m16), Finals submitted for re-review (m19).

  • CHANCE, S., Williams, B., Goldfinch, T., Adams, R. S., & Fleming, L. N. (Eds.). (forthcoming, 2019). Special focus issue on using design projects to spur cognitive development of students in science and engineering n the IEEE Transactions on Education. 

Produced PBL encyclopedia entry.

  • CHANCE, S. M. (forthcoming). Problem-Based Learning: Use in Engineering Disciplines. In Amey, M. J. & David, M. E. (Eds.). The SAGE Encyclopedia of Higher Education, 5v. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
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Learning from experts like phenomenographer Dr. Mike Miminiris

WP4, Outreach activities

(I proposed delivering 19 outreach events/outputs over two years.)

Outreach to General Public

(In 2018, 5 workshops, 1 booth, 1 book publisher advised, 2 educational websites)

Directly conducted 4 robotics and electrical engineering workshops for kids in Ireland with colleagues from my home institution. Having co-founded RoboSlam robotics outreach team in 2013, I continue to be active in RoboSlam, as one of the four main coordinators of events. In 2018, was part of a team that ran a number of robotics and electrical engineering workshops for kids in Ireland over the month of August with the Wexford library service. I specifically assisted in running two workshops in Bunclody (17th August) and two in Enniscorthy (18th August). The workshops were attended by approximately 120 children in the age range 8-12. The children built an electronics arcade game which they brought home afterwards. The intention of the workshops was to encourage an interest in electronics and programming. Feedback and pictures (courtesy of Shannon Chance) are available here: https://www.dropbox.com/home/DIT%20Bread%20Board%20Games. The technical resources we used (instructions, and code) can be found here: https://ioprog.com/bbg.

Operated an educational booth on electrical engineering in Ireland with colleagues from my home institution, at Dublin Maker 2018. A large team of volunteers (staff and students) from the school participated in Dublin Maker in Merrion Square in mid-July 2018. The common theme of our stand was “paper programming”.

Provided support for the EI sponsored Engineer Your Future Week summer school for TY students in mid-May. Our school’s contribution encompassed Robot Building and Biomedical Engineering.

STEM Activity Books for Kids—provided “expert advice” as the primary content consultant for activity books:

  • Scribble Engineering, STEM activity book published by Usborne Publishing Ltd. (2018)
  • Scribble Architecture, STEM activity book to be published by Usborne Publishing Ltd. (forthcoming)

Hosted and created content for an educational blog on being a mobile researcher that had 3,732 visitors in 2018 and 13,106 views (discrete clicks indicating engagement) with additional interaction via Linkedin, Twitter, and Facebook.

  • CHANCE, S. (2012-present). Ireland by Chance: Research Adventures in Ireland and the UK. http://www.IrelandByChance.com showcasing research and fellowship activities

Provided content for a blog on robotics that I collaborative manage with colleagues from my host institution that had 3,299 visitors in 2018 and 6,505 views.

  • Burke, T., CHANCE, S., Berry, D., & Duignan, F. (2012-present). RoboSlam: Robot-building for Beginners. Roboslam.com showcasing outreach activities I do with my colleagues in electrical engineering.
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My colleagues in engineering education development and research at UCL.

Outreach to Support Educators

Provided workshops on teaching (learning theories and innovative teaching techniques) for educators.

  • Akinmolayan, F. & CHANCE, S. M. (2018). Facilitating group & Problem-Based Learning in the context of engineering education. Two-day Master Class conducted for the University of Cape Town’s Engineering Education Existing Staff Capacity Enhancement Programme.
  • CHANCE, S. M. (2019). Learning theories in engineering: A US perspective on student development. A class session for UCL’s new MSc in Engineering and Education.
  • CHANCE, S. M. (2018). Supporting diverse students. Lunch seminar for UCL’s Centre for Engineering Education in London.

Outreach to Support Researchers

Provided workshops on research techniques for Early Stage Researchers.

  • Direto, I., Malik, M., & CHANCE, S. M. (2018). Conducting Systematic Literature Reviews in Engineering Education Research. Workshop to the UK & Ireland Engineering Education Research Network (EERN) annual conference 2018 in Portsmouth.
  • Edström, K., Bernhard, J., De Laet, T., & others including CHANCE, S. M. (2018). Doctoral Symposium. One-day pre-conference workshop at the European Society for Engineering Education (SEFI) 2018 annual conference in Copenhagen, Denmark.
  • De Laet, T., Williams, B., & others including CHANCE, S. M. (2018). Engineering Education Research. Workshop by EER Working Group at the European Society for Engineering Education (SEFI) 2018 annual conference in Copenhagen, Denmark.
  • CHANCE, S. M. (2018). MSCA fellowship experiences. Presentation delivered for Dublin Institute of Technology’s EPA & IUA MSCA Research Information Workshop Programme.

Provided presentations at symposia for experienced researchers

  • CHANCE, S. M. (2018). Gender Equality in STEM Education. Presentation delivered at Marie Curie Alumni Association’s Gender Equality Workshop Programme on 3 December 2018 in Dublin, Ireland.
  • Edström, K., Bernhard, J., van den Bogaard, M., Benson, L., Finelli, C., CHANCE, S. M., & Lyng, R. (2018). Reviewers, reviewers, reviewers! Workshop at the European Society for Engineering Education (SEFI) 2018 annual conference in Copenhagen, Denmark.

WP5, Training and transfer-of-knowledge

(I proposed attending 56 training sessions over two years and have exceeded this goal)

Researcher Training sessions completed

In chronological order:

  1. UCL online training module and certificate earned in Safety
  2. UCL online training module and certificate earned in Green Awareness
  3. UCL online training module and certificate earned as Green Champion
  4. UCL day-long Researcher Development Workshop, Finding Your Voice as an Academic Writer
  5. UCL day-long Researcher Development Workshop, An Introduction to Research Student Supervision at UCL
  6. Researcher information session organized by the Irish Research Council, Opportunities to collaborate with UK-based researchers
  7. UCL day-long Researcher Development Workshop, Creative Approach to Problem Solving and Decision Taking for Researchers
  8. UCL Arena Guidance Sessions: Initial Guidance
  9. UCL day-long Researcher Development Workshop, Leading Collaborative Projects
  10. UCL’s Centre for Engineering Education’s event, In Conversation With… Angela Saini and Louise Archer
  11. UCL AstreaVoices workshop: Choosing your journey
  12. UCL day-long Researcher Development Workshop, Writing Books and Book Chapters
  13. UCL day-long Researcher Development Workshop, Managing Your Reputation
  14. UCL Arena Senior Fellow Guidance Session: Developing your application
  15. UCL day-long Education Conference 2018 at the UCL Institute of Education
  16. Nathu Puri Institute Thought Leadership discussion and dinner in April
  17. SRHE day-long workshop, Migration and academic acculturation
  18. SRHE day-long workshop, Developing curriculum, learning and pedagogies in STEM subjects: the case of Engineering
  19. SRHE day-long workshop, Phenomenography: An approach to qualitative research in higher education
  20. UCL LLAKES Seminar by Louise Archer Why can’t we solve the science participation ‘crisis’? Understanding young people’s (non)participation in post-16 science
  21. Attended a UCL “Town Hall” to better understand the administrative structure of this research-intensive university, Finding a new place in society for universities
  22. UCL day-long Researcher Development Workshop Publish or Perish: Getting Collaborative Social Science Published
  23. One-day Inaugural Spring Colloquium of the UK-Ireland Engineering Education Research Network, held in Newcastle
  24. UCL day-long Researcher Development Workshop, The Superior Performer: How to Work to Your Strengths
  25. SRHE day-long workshop, Publishing Academic Articles: A way through the maze
  26. UCL Researcher Development Workshop, Induction for New UCL Research Staff
  27. Attended a half-day of UCL conference on Impacts of Gender Discourse on Polish Politics, Society & Culture Comparative Perspectives reservation
  28. UCL workshop, Provost’s Welcome to New Staff
  29. UCL day-long Researcher Development Workshop, Writing and Publishing Research Papers
  30. UCL day-long Researcher Development Workshop, Increasing Impact – Gaining Positive Media Coverage
  31. Attended two-day Inspirefest celebrating women in technology, held in Dublin
  32. Attended four-day conference of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) in Salt Lake City
  33. Attended one-day symposium at the Royal Society sponsored by the RAEng and UCL CEE, Inclusive Engineering Education Symposium
  34. Second Nathu Puri Institute Thought Leadership Event at 6-9 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5AG
  35. Attended two-day 7th International Symposium of Engineering Education (ISEE 2018), hosted by UCL
  36. UCL day-long Researcher Development Workshop, Storytelling Skills for Teachers and Presenters
  37. UCL Arena training for fellowship applicants at principal level, PFHEA Lunch session
  38. Attended five-day conference of the European Society for Engineering Education (SEFI 2018) in Copenhagen
  39. Attended three-day International Conference on Interactive Collaborative Learning (ICL 2018) plus events of the International Conference on Engineering Pedagogy (IGIP 2018) in Kos Island, Greece
  40. UCL online training module and certificate earned in GDPR
  41. SRHE day-long workshop, IS THERE (STILL) ROOM FOR EDUCATION IN THE CONTEMPORARY UNIVERSITY? Exploring policy, research and practice through the lens of professional education. Seminar 3
  42. Lecture organized by the Irish Fulbright Commission, Creative Minds: In Conversation with a NASA Astronaut
  43. TU Dublin (formerly DIT) online training module and certificate earned in GDPR
  44. TU Dublin 2.5-hour workshop by Dr. Bill Williams, Getting published in engineering education research journals
  45. Attended half-day IEP Research Away (Half) Day
  46. Attended three-day Society for Research in Higher Education conference (SRHE 2018) in Newport, Wales
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Exploring Athens between conferences

Research skills development activities

PhD/Research supervision

  • Second supervisor for one PhD student at LSBU, Thomas Empson, meeting with him and the primary supervisor Professor Sushma Patel bi-monthly. Successfully guided him through (1) REES2 submission and panel interview gaining university permission to proceed, (2) ethics approval process, and (3) submission of abstract to EPDE conference that was accepted for development into a full paper.
  • Co-supervising one PhD student at TU Dublin, Una Beagon.
  • Supervised a group of students in The Civil Service Graduate Development Programme 2017-18 in Ireland in conducting a policy-related research project.

International Leadership Appointments in EER

  • Appointed Associate Editor for the journal IEEE Transactions on Education. In addition to organizing the two special focus issues listed under WP3, I also provided advice to the Editor in Chief at the desk review stage, managed the review of multiple manuscripts, gave input into operational changes, and review manuscripts nominated for Best Paper.
  • Appointed to and served on the Editorial Board of the European Journal of Engineering Education.
  • Appointed to and serve as Governing Board member, global Research on Engineering Education Network (REEN) and providing leadership on the sub-committee for recruitment and selection of upcoming conference hosts.
  • Appointed to the organizing group of the new Irish Chapter of the Marie Curie Alumni Association (MCAA). Joined international MCAA organization and both the Irish and UK chapters.
  • Appointed to the SEFI Working Group on Engineering Education Research.
  • Provided leadership to the Nathu Puri Institute at the London South Bank University as a think-tank member (2018) and by serving on the interview panel for the new director of the Institute.
  • Appointed as Visiting Professor at London South Bank University.
  • Invited to serve as a member of the Program Committee of the 11th Global Engineering Education Conference (EDUCON), which will take place in Porto, from 27-30 April 2020.

Journal Peer Reviews

  • Reviewed manuscripts for the European Journal of Engineering Education (EJEE), including CEEE20160099, CEEE20180019, CEEE20170301, CEEE20180019.R1, CEEE20180086, and CEEE20180173.
  • Reviewed manuscripts for the Journal of Engineering Education (JEE) manuscript JEE-2017-0238 and JEE-2017-0238.R1.

Conference Peer Reviews

  • Provided reviews of three abstracts for the Research in Engineering Education Symposium to be held in 2019
  • Provided peer reviews of four abstracts (contributions 1149, 1217, 1236, and 1384) for SEFI 2018.
  • Served as meta-reviewer, breaking ties on three abstracts (contributions 1123, 1237, and 1242) for SEFI 2018.
  • Reviewed one abstract (contribution 1194) for the 2018 ICL conference.

Educational Assessment

  • Provided assessment of one proposal for Fulbright Ireland’s 2019-2020 Programme.
  • Invited to serve on National Architectural Accreditation Board (NAAB) IPR Review Panel (forthcoming 2019).
  • Invited to serve as Evaluator for EU grant proposals under the ERASMUS Program (forthcoming 2019).
  • Provided a formal assessment of four MSc capstone thesis papers submitted at my home institution.

Curriculum Design and Education Development

  • Provided input into the design of a new MSc in Applied Computing for professionals in Built Environment at her home institution.
  • Provided advice for UCL’s new MSc Engineering and Education, launched in September 2018. This flexible and unique MSc is designed for anyone teaching in a department of engineering or working as an engineer or in engineering policy, who is aiming to: (a) lead change and enhance the performance of engineers in industry or (b) develop innovative strategies to improve the education of engineers, in either educational or work contexts.   More information and apply at: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/graduate/taught/degrees/engineering-education-msc
  • Provided input into the proposed new curriculum in architecture engineering for Newgiza University to be developed by my host institution.
  • Developed links around accessible transport in London that are of importance to my home institution’s new MSc in Transport and Mobility. I am coordinating a visit of DIT’s MSc staff for spring 2019 to London to visit the world-recognized transportation testing facility headed by Professor Nick Tyler, CBE.
  • Visited former colleagues and students in bridge and robot design modules during research trips to Dublin.

Fellowship applications

  • Submitted a fellowship application to the British Academy that was not funded.
  • Advised Dr. Inês Direito on preparing her won grant application for the Nuffield Foundation.
  • Worked on developing an application for a HEA Teaching Fellowship.

Coaching and mentoring

  • Advised researchers in Portugal (Filomena Soares and Celina Pinot Leao) who are collecting interview data to add to that I’ve collected with Dr. Bill Williams.
  • Mentored multiple young past students and research participants and the person hired to cover me during my MSCA career break.
  • Advised aspiring MSCA applicants.
  • Provided references for past students and colleagues.
  • Provided mentoring on PhD research design to a UCL colleague.
  • Kept up with the achievements of my former architecture students via Facebook and LinkedIn (e.g., buildings designed, books launched, exams passed, professional registrations earned, challenges faced, lives well-lived.)

Miscellaneous

  • Provided data to assist with UNESCO report on engineering.
  • Worked to keep my research profiles up-to-date, including UCL EngineeringIRIS, LinkedIn, ORCId
  • Nominated colleague Dr. Bill Williams for appointment as Visiting Professor at my home institution and assisted in organizing his inaugural lecture and a workshop for my home research group, called CREATE.
  • Coordinated guest lecture at my host institution (UCL) by Dr. Mike Miminiris
  • Provided interview for gender researcher Susana Vázquez Cupeiro
  • Served as moderator of ISEE conference session organized by my host institution.
  • Was featured in a two-page spread in DIT’s Research News, issued in March 2018, on women in STEM.

Received one-to-one training from research experts

  1. Mike Mimirinis, phenomographer
  2. Professor Nick Tyler
  3. Professor John Mitchell
  4. Bill Williams
  5. Professor Jenni Case
  6. Jeff Froyd
  7. Professor Brian Bowe
  8. Professor Anne Gardner
  9. Professor Pam Eddy
  10. Inês Direito
  11. Professor Shushma Patel
  12. Able Nyamapfene
  13. Claire Ellul GeoBIM – Linking Geographic Information Systems and Building Information Modelling
  14. Jenny Griffiths
  15. Professor Rao Bhamidimarri
  16. Kate Roach
  17. Folashade Akinmolayan
  18. Nicky Wolmarans
  19. Jay Derrick
  20. Emanuela Tilley
  21. Lorraine D’Arcy
  22. Avril Behan
  23. Kevin Gaughan
  24. Jean Cahill
  25. Amir Tobacovic
  26. Professor Ron Daniel
  27. Ted Burke
  28. Damon Berry
  29. Frank Duignan
  30. Professor Simon Phibin
  31. Georgia Pitts
  32. Elpedia Makriyannis
  33. Jeffrey Johnson
  34. Professor Euan Lindsay
  35. Andrew Forkes, Maker Labs at LSBU
  36. Alan Hilliard
  37. Rovani Sigamoney of UNESCO
  38. Rob Lawlor
  39. Fiona Truscott
  40. Conor O’Carroll
  41. Tony Fawcett, CEGE Communications and Marketing Manager

Attended CPD lectures to stay up-to-date in my field (architecture and urbanism)

  1. Attended two lectures on accessible transportation at PAMELA, UCL’s transportation research hub, delivered by Professor Nick Tyler
  1. UCL Architecture lecture, Sir Peter Cook of CRAB Studios
  2. UCL Architecture lecture, SueAnne Ware with University of Newcastle, Australia
  3. UCL Architecture lecture, Ken Yeang
  4. UCL Architecture lecture, Fabio Gramazio of ETH Zurich and Gramazio Kohler Research
  5. UCL Architecture lecture, Jeremy Till from UAL
  6. UCL Architecture lecture, Vera Bühlmann from Technical University of Berlin
  7. UCL Engineering event, presentations of BEAMS EPSRC Vacation Bursary Best Project nominations
  8. UCL Architecture lecture, Peg Rawes from The Bartlett
  9. UCL Engineering lecture, Designing a Road Traffic Model for the Cross-sectoral Analysis of Future National Infrastructure
  10. UCL Education Awards
  11. Architecture lecture by Grafton Architects
  12. TU Dublin lecture by Dr. Bill Williams, It’s not just about innovation: 14 ways engineers create value
  13. Attended DIT London Alumni Annual Reception at the London Irish Centre 

Visited museum visits to stay up-to-date in my field (architecture and urbanism)

  1. Science Museum (including the Transportation exhibit)
  2. Bartlett exhibition on Street Life
  3. Tower Bridge with bride design exhibition
  4. Foundling Museum
  5. Tower of London
  6. Paris—San Chappelle, Arab Institute, Medieval Museum, Marie Curie Museum
  7. Saatchi Gallery
  8. V&A Museum
  9. British Museum (e.g., Egyptian exhibition)
  10. Courtard Gallery
  11. Folkestone Museum
  12. Dover Castle
  13. Royal Academy (Charles I)
  14. Whitechapel Gallery
  15. Sir John Soane Museum
  16. V&A Museum of Childhood (including Nordic Design exhibition)
  17. Apartheid Museums in Johannesburg
  18. Constitution Hill museum in Johannesburg
  19. National Gallery (exhibitions on Degas and Murillo)
  20. Wallace Collection
  21. History Museum in London
  22. UCL Art Museum, Octagon exhibition hall, and Library
  23. National Gallery (Monet and Architecture)
  24. Tate Modern (e.g., an exhibition on Modigliani)
  25. Tate Britain (e.g., an exhibition on Impressionists in London, and the Turner Prize)
  26. Somerset House (print exhibit & tour)
  27. Building Centre
  28. Institute of Making
  29. UCL Grant Museum of Archeology
  30. Open House Dublin (Normal House, Villas, Belvedere House, Ash House, 14 Henrietta Street, KS Garda St, Richmond Surgical)
  31. Udvar-Hazy Air and Space Museum
  32. Smithsonian Air and Space Museum
  33. Smithsonian East Wing
  34. Smithsonian Cochrane Gallery
  35. Smithsonian Museum of American History

Visited and studied cities to stay up-to-date in my field (architecture and urbanism)

  1. London, England
  2. Paris, France
  3. Folkestone, England
  4. Dover, England
  5. Johannesburg, SA
  6. Ramsgate, England
  7. Rye, England
  8. Nice and south of France
  9. Copenhagen, Denmark
  10. Athens, Greece
  11. Kos, Greece
  12. Newport, Wales
  13. Bristol, England
  14. Washington, DC

WP6, Management

  • Attended pre-grant meetings with primary MSCA supervisor Professor Nick Tyler, second supervisor Professor John Mitchell, colleagues from the research center I was joining and the corollary center at my home institution to align plans and activities, including its head, Professor Brian Bowe.
  • Attended a fellowship kick-off meeting with Professor Nick Tyler and second supervisor Professor John Mitchell.
  • Developed an official Career Development Plan based on research and bespoke advice from Professor Nick Tyler.
  • Attended a Month 1 Probationary Assessment with my supervisor, Professor Nick Tyler.
  • Attended a Month 3 Probationary Assessment with my supervisor, Professor Nick Tyler.
  • Attended a Month 6 Probationary Assessment with Professor Nick Tyler and submitted required documents to UCL.
  • Held frequent discussions (bi-monthly) with my second supervisor, Professor John Mitchell.
  • Held quarterly discussions with my former MSCA supervisor, Professor Brian Bowe.
  • Attended a one-year review discussion with supervisor Nick Tyler.
  • Prepared and submitted a log of activities to be included in the mid-project report to the European Commission.

 

Recap on SRHE: Eye-opening research on highly productive researchers and the history of higher ed

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I presented on the first day of the 2018 SRHE Conference in Newport, Wales.

The Society for Research in Higher Education (SRHE) met last week for its 2018 conference. On Day 1, I delivered a summary report on national education policies in relation to what female engineering students told me about school experiences that led them to study engineering.

SRHE is a UK-based organization and its annual meeting is held each December in Wales at the Celtic Manor near Newport, a high-end golf resort where the organization has garnered good deals by assembling mid-week, off-season. The place was decorated beautifully for Christmas and I got a room on the tenth/top floor, with views of the nearby hills. Because I’m a genuine geek, I attended seminars straight through and missed out on the facility’s lovely pool, ice skating rink, and challenge course. Despite missing those thrills, I found the seminars delightful. In this blog, I can’t describe all the fascinating things I learned at the conference, but I’ll share some overarching thoughts and impressions.

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View from my tenth-floor room of Celtic Manor.

The opening and closing keynote speeches were very interesting, and they bookended the conference by taking opposite approaches to study international trends in higher education.

Prof. Marek Kwiek delivered the opening keynote. He described how his mixed-methods research study was conducted. He collected over 17k surveys and 500 interviews across 11 European countries, and he identified eye-popping results that did not sit well with some conference attendees. Essentially, top earners in higher education in Europe are more research-oriented, they publish much more than other academics but they also work quite hard, spending more time than others on *all* aspects of academic work–including teaching, research, service, and administration. This goes against commonly held beliefs, and prior research, that suggests researchers successfully avoid work other than research.

Prof. Kwiek said the top 10% of researchers produce 50% of all journal articles.

Prof. Kwiek found that the top 10% of researchers produce 50% of all journal articles. Top-producers work a full two months per year more than most university teachers. They also collaborate with many others internationally when they publish. But what visibly agitated the audience was the demographics Prof. Kwiek identified with regard to these top performers: they are predominantly male, middle-aged, full professors, with a mean age of 47. Being that I’m 48, I am already behind–but more than willing to catch up!

I’m a quick learner, and now I have the code for success. In this case, Prof. Kwiek highlighted an inherent problem: that the variables that mean the most to promotions/progression, salary, and prestige consistently favor men. This is not a problem of Prof. Kwiek’s making, but it is a situation his data clearly showed.

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Meeting with my phenomenography mentor, Dr. Mike Miminiris and his US-based friend Marquis Moore.

The other bookend presentation, the closing keynote by Prof. Louise Morley of the Centre for Higher Education and Equity Research in Sussex, would highlight several relevant and important points in response.

One interesting point Prof. Morley raised was that the person who identifies a problem often comes to be seen *as* the problem. Another interesting topic she raised was that bias built into the system of higher education ties to our overall economic-political model called “neo-liberalism” and this makes it nearly impossible to escape. It’s like trying to avoid air. How can we step outside this model to properly credit diverse contributions, when all the measures of performance inherently favor mainstream versions of excellence and productivity?

To help me come to terms with much of this–and excel despite being culturally different–I bought Prof. Kwiek’s book “Changing European Academics: A comparative study of social stratification, work patterns and research productivity.” If you’re interested in the details he presented, you can buy the book. I’ve also included some slides of his presentation directly below, followed by more commentary and photos of other presentations:

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An extremely informative panel with Profs. Ellen Hazelkorn and Vikki Boliver and Kalwant Bhopal.

Although I am not a positivist (similar to Prof. Kwiek), I also haven’t adopted the critical perspectives that Prof. Morley uses. I haven’t entirely rejected the neo-liberal framework, and most of my research takes an interpretivist and/or constructivist stance in that I study the status quo prior to suggesting ways to change it. I do incorporate some aspects of critical feminism and critical race theory, but these are underlying principles, not the core paradigm I use.

With regard to neo-liberalism, back during my Ph.D. studies, I really enjoyed the class I had at William and Mary called “Finance of Higher Education.” My teacher, Prof. David Leslie, studied economic trends in USA higher ed and he identified patterns like this. He exampled that in the States, there’s a direct correlation between the discipline you teach in, the pay you’ll receive teaching in that discipline, and how traditionally male- or female-dominated the profession is. This means that in the USA, I can get paid more by teaching in an architecture or engineering department than in an education department. I did look this up and found it shockingly true.

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Dr. Maryam Al-Mohammad presenting on “global citizenship” alongside Dr. Neil Harrison, both from UWE.

Fortunately, in European higher ed, the pay grades are less inherently tied to gender. On the whole, there seems to be better pay equity among disciplines in the European academy. Despite the fact that there is more equitable pay for equal work, men still reach the top echelons of higher education management/administration (and research) at much, much higher rates than women. Ireland, for example, is far behind the US where many university and community college (the US equivalent of the Irish IoT) presidents are female.

So, yes, bias regarding gender, ethnicity, physical ability, etc., etc., etc. is still extremely pervasive. Understanding bias, and visualizing why and how it happens, can help us remedy the problems.

So, even though the findings Prof. Kwiek presented were gloomy overall, he did provide me with helpful ideas for accelerating my career. I’ve been trying to break into publishing in a new discipline (I’ve moved from publishing in architecture education and education planning journals to publishing in engineering education) and the findings Prof. Kwiek reported will help me set, and meet, my goals faster. For me, having a road map of what it takes to succeed under current conditions is an important step in moving ahead and I thank Prof. Kwiek for providing such a guidebook.

A later speaker during Day 1 of the conference, Dr. Rachel Handford, noted that “possible selves” “can only include those selves that it is possible to perceive (Stevenson & Clegg, 2011; 233)” meaning that we learn what we might become and consider options before we act, but we need to see examples of possibilities first. I’ve always found this to be true, and I try to expose myself to many different people with different ways of working and seeing the world. They help me figure out what I want to be, learn, do and accomplish. There are photos of Dr. Handford’s presentation below, as well as presentations by Prof. Ming Cheng (on Chinese students studying abroad) and Drs. Cecelia Whitechurch and William Locke (on academic staff members’ techniques for gaining promotion).

I need to wrap up, though I would like to mention other highly-notable moments: three presentations on higher ed in South Africa, one presentation on low-income UK students studying abroad at elite US institutions, a fascinating panel that included Profs. Ellen Hazelkorn and Vikki Boliver and Kalwant Bhopal, a presentation by Drs. Maryam Al-Mohammad and Neil Harrison on “global citizenship”, and talks by historians Prof. John Tyler and Dr. Mike Klasser.

Prof. John Tyler delivered a keynote on the impact of WWI on higher education in Europe and his presentation was insightful. In the US, the aftermath of the Civil War and WWII were turning points for higher education. I’d say the Morrill and Hatch Acts which established the Land Grant institutions in the US mark the birth of the modern university in North America. These facilitated providing higher education to the masses. The federal government became involved in funding higher education. These funds expanded after WWII when our country needed to re-train returning vets and decided to provide money to send them to university. The US government also decided to fund research via universities, as it had worked well for the US to have Harvard run the top-secret Manhattan Project that developed the A-bomb and helped end the war. These are all things I learned in the “History of Higher Education” course I took at Old Dominion University in 2009. At SRHE, Prof. Tyler explained that the dawn of the modern university in the UK came after WWI.

In a paper presentation, Dr. Mike Klassen discussed his research on “the academization of engineering education in the United States and the United Kingdom: A neo-institutional perspective.” Dr. Klassen recently visited UCL (for our recent CEE strategy meeting) but I hadn’t learned what he was studying other than higher ed policy. At SRHE, I got to hear him present on the history of engineering education. I’m hoping that someday he’ll want to study overlaps between engineering and architecture education history and pedagogy development–again comparing North American and European traditions–and that the two of us can work together on this.

I left SRHE having forged many new contacts. I met so many people I’d like to keep in contact with and learned so many new ideas and research findings. I look forward to attending SRHE 2019 and speaking at an SRHE workshop, to be organized by Ann-Marie Bathmaker, in spring 2019.

Perched atop UCL for an Away Day strategizing engineering education

Perched high above UCL, in the penthouse Marconi room, University College London’s engineering education experts assembled on November 29th at the uppermost point of the Bloomsbury campus to discuss progress and strategy for the future. I was delighted with the sweeping views toward East London, where I live, and my co-researcher Dr. Inês Direito and I selected seats where we could watch the color of the sky shift throughout the day.

UCL staff from the Institute of Education (IoE), Arena Centre for Research-Base Education, and Faculty of Engineering Sciences (Integrated Engineering Programme and the Centre for Engineering Education where I’m working) joined together for a half-day retreat. We started with a light lunch so that we could get re-acquainted and welcome a guest from McGill University in Canada. I myself am here for two years as a Marie Curie Research Fellow, on a career break from Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT).

Our Centre for Engineering Education (CEE) has two directors. Professor David Guile is from the Institute of Education and Professor John Mitchell is from the Faculty of Engineering Sciences. John ran the meeting.

After introductions, we got updates on CEE activities as well as a synopsis of our core mission. Emanuela Tilley, Director of UCL’s Integrated Engineering Programme (IEP) provide an update and John Mitchell described progress building the university’s new campus in Stratford, East London. The campus is called Here East and will eventually include space for our Centre.

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Emanuela Tilley providing updates on UCL’s award-winning IEP

We learned about the new Masters in Engineering and Education that CEE and IoE recently launched. There are six MSc students in the current, inagural cohort and its organizers anticipate bringing in 20 additional students next year. I’ll be delivering a session for this degree program in January, on learning theories. I’m hoping that DIT’s MSc in aBIMM (Masters in applied Building Information Modeling and Management technologies) can provide a helpful precedent for organizing the thesis portion of the program, as my colleagues Deborah Brennan and Dr. Avril Behan have already achieved creative solutions to address the types of challenges our UCL team faces, as identified by Jay Derrick and David Guile. I’ll work to connect these four people.

Near the end of the meeting, Inês and I provided updates on our current and planned research projects. I mentioned contributions we’ve made to the larger community of engineering education researchers, running multiple workshops at SEFI 2018, providing leadership on journals like IEEE Transactions on Education, and collaborating with the CREATE research group at DIT, my home institution. I wrapped up by identifying the research projects that we have in progress—two that use phenomenology as well as two phenomenographic studies and two systematic reviews. I should have mentioned the special focus issue I have underway on using design projects to promote student development, but I forgot!

Inaugurating a pioneer in engineering education research, Dr. Bill Williams

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Bill’s workshop on getting published in EER

Thanksgiving Day had a different look and feel this year. Here in Dublin, we welcomed Dr. Bill Williams to give his inaugural lecture as Visiting Professor in DIT’s School of Multidisciplinary Technologies.

Bill is an energetic and knowledgeable colleague, a close friend, and an excellent mentor to me. We have been working together on various projects since the day we first met, at a SEFI conference in 2012. Bill hosted my 2013 visit to five universities in Portugal, and we are currently co-editing a special focus issue of the journal IEEE Transactions on Education, the second special focus issue we’ve organized together. Because Bill has been so helpful in supporting my development over the years, I wanted others at DIT to benefit from his knowledge, experience, and helpful advice as well. He’s got a can-do attitude that is uplifting and infectious. And so, I nominated him for this prestigious appointment at DIT and am delighted it finally came to pass!

He arrived in Dublin Wednesday, which gave us a bit of time to catch up and compare notes on various projects. We enjoyed a very tasty vegetarian dinner at the newly-expanded Brother Hubbard, to get the ball rolling. If you’ve not eaten there, do hurry! You’re really missing out!

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Bill’s life path

Bill and I started Thanksgiving Day with a strategy meeting with our schools’ senior leaders, then we met with colleagues, welcomed guests from near and far, and settled in for Bill’s insightful lecture on “14 ways engineers bring value” to society.

Bill described his trajectory into engineering education research, via two stints in Africa where he taught Chemistry. Although he’s originally from Cork, Ireland, he has lived and worked for the past few decades in Barreiro, Portugal. In Lisbon, he earned his Ph.D., just shortly before retiring. Now, I’m quite happy to report, he’s still incredibly active in research and in advising and mentoring researchers new and old. We’ve now made it official by appointing him as an adjunct professor here at DIT!

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After an interesting set of lecture topics followed by Q&A with lively discussion, a small group of the international guests joined Bill and the event organizers for dinner in Dublin’s Italian Quarter–so I had Thanksgiving dinner surrounded by dear friends after all!

 

 

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Dr. Abel Nyamapfene (UCL) and Professor John Heywood (Trinity)

I was delighted that we had 22 attendees at Bill’s Thursday lecture and nearly as many at the follow-up workshop on Friday–a great turn-out, particularly given the long distances many traveled to attend! Bill himself traveled in from Portugal for the two-day event.

My UCL colleagues, Drs. Inês Direito and Abel Nyamapfene, came across from London. They work with me at the Centre for Engineering Education at University College London.

Dr. John Heywood (Professor Emeritus at Trinity and a global leader in the field of education research) made the trip up from Bray, Ireland.

 

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Drs. Shannon Chance (DIT and UCL) and Inês Direito (UCL)

Dr. Dónal Holland (Assistant Professor at the UCD School of Mechanical & Materials Engineering and an Associate at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences) came up from University College Dublin both days.

All these guests were joined by a host of enthusiastic DIT staff from the Kevin Street, Grangegoreman, and Bolton Street campuses.

Still abuzz from the lecture on Thursday, we prepared to focus on research publication strategies on Friday via a workshop led by Bill. But first, Inês, Abel, and Bill came for lunch at my flat and this provided me a semblance of a Thanksgiving gathering around my own table.

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Professor Brian Bowe (DIT) with Drs. Dónal Holland (UCD and Harvard) and Gavin Duffy (DIT)

Nevertheless, the main event for Friday was a workshop on getting research published in engineering education. Bill ran this half-day seminar for DIT’s CREATE research group. CREATE seeks to make Contributions to Research in Engineering and Applied Technologies Education. It is based at Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT, soon to be Technological University Dublin, TU Dublin).

Across these two days, we enjoyed sharing ideas informally as well as formally. Bill met with Professor Brian Bowe (the head of CREATE at DIT) and with a number of Ph.D. students and emerging researchers, and with senior leaders of the School.

I photographed some of the memorable moments and have shared them in the gallery below.

Sharing research at EERN

The Engineering Education Research Network (EERN) for the UK and Ireland met today at Newcastle University. Since one third of the presentations at this colloquium were delivered by DIT’s research group called CREATE (for Contributions to Research in Engineeing and Applied Technology Education), I got to catch up with my beloved colleagues from Dublin.

Yesterday, Emma Whitney, a colleague at UCL asked me to Tweet the events since three of us from UCL were attending. She gave me a few pointers for Tweeting, and I gave it a go.

@shannonchance7 has never had much success with Twitter. But with Emma’s tips I was able to do a respectable job (although I can’t get Twitter working now, on the train back to London, so perhaps I downed the platform!?).

It was great hearing about the #engineeringeducation #educationresearch folks are doing across Ireland and the UK.

This was the first EERN event with specific discussions to help support and guide PhD students and early-career/newer researchers. I actually feel that we’re all new to this! It’s an emerging field of research and were working hard to establish the methods, publications, conferences, and knowledge-sharing networks.

I’m delighted to be part of such a vibrant community, dedicated to improving the student experience and the quality of learning. I’ve uploaded photos of the conference and also of my morning exploration in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. It’s a lovely little city and I’ll hope to return again some day.

Able Nyamapfene from UCL.

The DIT CREATE contingent. DIT’s Una Beagon. Rebecca Broadbent from Astin University. DIT’s Darren McCarthy. DIT’s Gavin Duffy. EERN colloquium organizers, Jane Andrews and Roger Penlimgton. Shannon, Darren, Rachel, Robert, Una, Brian (with Gavin MIA for the selfie)

Using Architecture Design Studio Pedagogies to Enhance Engineering Education

Shannon Chance IJEEI’m celebrating the publication of a new journal article today, with the help of Sally O’Neill. She’s one of the librarians here at DIT, and she secured permission and posted the article on DIT’s website, making it free for you and anyone else to download.

The publishing process is glacially slow. I submitted the paper in March 2014, based on a conference paper delivered in 2013. And here I am, in February 2016, with the final publication finally in hand.

Many time, in research, it takes time to see the results of your work. Seeing this in print helps make all these days, sitting at a computer analyzing text, feel more worthwhile. Once I can see that people are downloading it, and once I start getting feedback and citations in other people’s research papers, I’ll celebrate some more.

I know what I’ve learned through this research is useful, because I get to apply it in the classroom and in the design studio. The rewards of printed research are more slow to crystallize but also extremely important, especially for people who want to gain credibility in research and build a career around research.

This new article, written with the help of John Marshall in Michigan and Gavin Duffy here in Dublin, is about Using Architecture Design Studio Pedagogies to Enhance Engineering Education. Simply put, we believe that design education and hands-on forms of learning can help improve the quality and experience of learning in engineering and other STEM disciplines. The results reported in this paper provide support for that claim.

To give you a feel for what I’m describing, this is how we learn in architecture:

Above are pictures from design studios in Lisbon at IST and one for a study abroad program  offered by Hampton University. Very, very hands-on!

These days I’m helping promote similar ways of teaching engineering, which looks similar in many respects:

These are photos from electrical and mechanical engineering projects I’ve helped conduct at Dublin Institute of Technology.

This brand new article is about a specific design studio, conducted at the University of Michigan, that blurred the boundaries distinguishing art and science. It involved students and teachers from architecture, materials science engineering, and art+design working together to design and build “SmartSurfaces.” The paper reports learning outcomes — things the students learned in the  class — as illustrated by the blogs they posted during the semester. Here’s a glimpse of what that experience was like for those students:

For this new paper, I created a matrix to describe design behaviors in relationship to epistemological development (which has to do with how we view knowledge). I compared what the students wrote in their blogs to the definitions in my chart. Doing this, I was able to identify development of design skills as a result of students working in groups, and I even pinpointed some instances of epistemological development. John and Gavin helped check the work so that it would be more credible and reliable. They offered perspectives of insiders in the studio (John) and outsiders interested in group-based learning, Problem Based Leaning (PBL), engineering education, and epistemological development (Gavin).

This article should be of interest to any teacher who wants to help students develop new design, design thinking, or epistemological skills. Please feel free to read it and email me any questions you have, at irelandbychance [at] gmail [dot] com.

Chance, S., Marshall, J. and Duffy, G. (2016) Using Architecture Design Studio Pedagogies to Enhance Engineering EducationInternational Journal of Engineering Education Vol. 32, No. 1(B), pp. 364–383, 2016.

Discussing Development… of College Students

I just made my annual appearance at the class on theories about college students’ development taught by Dr. Jim Barber. Last year I got to be there in person, but this year it was back to Skype.

Fortunately, the new version of Skype allows for screen sharing. It is always a bit disorienting for me to deliver guest lectures online, but I don’t think it was too painful for the audience tonight — on account of this new technology.

Presentation to W&M SoE

Today at DIT, my research project is fully underway, and every day I’m drawing from the theories I learned in this very informative class that I had the good fortune to take, way back in 2006, at The College of William and Mary.

Tonight, I discussed two research methods I’ve been using — the first using template analysis and the second using descriptive phenomenology. If you’d like to view the Prezi I presented, you can click here.

The best part of the evening was that the William and Mary grad students — 22 in all — had lots and lots of questions. I couldn’t gauge exactly how well I was connecting with the folks in the back row (who contributed lots of great questions) because the resolution was only so/so, but I have been loving that the fact that my Skype/Messenger/iMessage/MagicJack technology has been improving every day!

It’s five hours later in Dublin than back in Virginia, so the evening is quite well worn here. And since I’ve got a researcher “media training” workshop in the morning, I’d better hit the sack now…. Adieu, Adieu, To you and you and yo-u!

Prezi cover shot

Seminar in the Making

Today’s an interesting and fairly typical day… morning yoga, transcribing, fairly successful bike ride/commute, book discussion with Gavin, lunch meeting with engineering lecturers, introductions with administrative leaders in engineering.

We are preparing for a seminar that all of us will present to the College faculty in a couple of weeks. Evidentially, some things Gavin and I discussed with the Dean (while we were in Greece) interested him enough to prompt a seminar.

Later today, I’ll head to an event on “stories” at Notre Dame’s O’Connell House. For now, reading in the office.

Here’s a photo of some of the engineers I met with (Dave, Ted, and Gavin). We took lunch in the staff cafeteria in the top floor of “Kevin Street” (i.e., the DIT building located on Kevin Street).

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