Document Type

Conference Paper

Version Deposited

Published Version

Publication Date


Conference Name

122nd ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition




This paper describes a model for a virtual community of practice (VCP) to support faculty efforts to adopt research-based instructional strategies in Chemical, Materials and Biological Engineering courses. The VCP was built on published recommendations for successful faculty development programs. The VCP program began with a 10 week virtual training period for five pairs of VCP leaders, during which they acquired the skills and knowledge needed to lead the faculty VCP. The faculty VCPs focused on one of five technical disciplines and were led by a pair of leaders having expertise in a specific technical focus area as well as in engineering pedagogy. Workshops were held using Internet conferencing software: the first 8 weekly workshops provided training in research-based pedagogy, and the second 8 biweekly workshops supported faculty efforts to implement chosen strategies in their courses. The participants were full-time faculty members with a range of teaching experience and pedagogical expertise, ranging from novice to expert. Improvement was measured via pre/post survey in the areas of familiarity and use of research-based pedagogy, as well as in perceived student motivation. The second part of the paper focuses on the translation of faculty participant experiences from the VCP into the classroom as they implemented a variety of instructional methods in their courses. We describe their approaches and preliminary results using different instructional methods such as flipping the classroom, using game-based pedagogy, promoting positive interdependence in cooperative-learning teams, peer instruction, small group discussion, Process Oriented Guided Inquiry Learning (POGIL), and using Bloom’s Taxonomy to structure a course.


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