CASTL-HE Featured Speaker: Maura Borrego, PhD
Learning in Engineering Graduate Research Groups
March 27, 2013
11:00 a.m., CLIC (Bavaro Hall, Room 306)
CASTL-HE was pleased to sponsor a talk by Dr. Maura Borrego, Associate Professor in the Department of Engineering Education at Virginia Tech.
Engineering graduate education, particularly at the doctoral level, relies heavily on mentored research experiences often conducted in a research group. The purpose of this study is to understand how and under what conditions research groups foster successful learning and professional development for graduate engineering students, and how these findings can be used to inform management of engineering research groups to optimize student learning, productivity, and intent to complete the degree. This study utilizes a sequential exploratory mixed methods design, with nine months of ethnographically guided observations and interviews used to develop an online survey instrument. Data reported in this paper include results from the ethnographic analysis and survey responses from over 800 students at four institutions. Key findings from the ethnographic analysis indicate that group size directly influences the mechanisms of student learning.
Survey results confirm the prevalence of engineering graduate research groups, as well as several elements common across research groups from different universities and academic departments, including: interactions and communication, access to resources, and role of the advisor. An understanding of the mechanisms for learning in research groups can be used by engineering administrators, faculty members, and graduate students to create an environment that fosters successful learning and professional development. We also recommend practices for ensuring positive experiences for all graduate students, which may ultimately reduce attrition from engineering graduate programs.
CASTL-HE Featured Speaker: Paul Umbach, PhD
Higher Education Policy in Times of Constraint: Opportunities for Research on Faculty and Students (Slides)
March 26, 2012
CASTL-HE and the Center for the Study of Higher Education were pleased to sponsor a talk by Dr. Paul Umbach, Associate Professor in the Department of Leadership, Policy, and Adult & Higher Education at North Carolina State University. Dr. Umbach spoke about policy issues affecting faculty and students in higher education, such as contingent faculty and student interaction and financial aid indebtedness and the college experience.
Using Evidence to Improve Teaching and Learning in Higher Education
April 14, 2011
The Planning Committee for the academic symposium invited proposals from across the UVA for presentations as part of a daylong program focusing on the use of evidence in the improvement of teaching in higher education settings. The day began with a keynote presentation by Lee S. Shulman, Ph.D., professor emeritus of education at Stanford University and president emeritus of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. Dr. Shulman's keynote was followed by three 75-minute concurrent symposia or roundtable sessions throughout the day—two in the morning and one after lunch.
In each symposium or roundtable, UVA faculty identified ways in which the collection and analysis of evidence related to teaching (e.g., curricular structure, teaching quality, student outcomes) have been used to improve teaching and learning outcomes. Presentations were illustrative exemplars and framed by substantive issues, such as teaching with technology, the assessment of student learning, the use of data to improve teaching quality, coursework innovations, teaching about difference and diversity and reaching beyond the walls of the University, among others.
CASTL-HE was proud to play a role in the planning of the Academic Symposium, and we are pleased to offer an archive of the presented material below. Dr. Shulman's keynote was videotaped, and can be viewed by following the link below. Several of the symposia were podcasted, and interested parties can listen to the podcasts by following those links. Finally, all materials submitted by the presenters are linked below for viewing as well.