2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition
Engineering faculty are faced with a variety of challenges ranging from teaching responsibilities, navigating research, and negotiating service demands. Due to the nature of the emerging field of engineering education and the emphasis on education within the ASEE community, there is a need to develop methods to facilitate cross-institutional mentoring. While many institutions offer formal mentoring in some capacity, there are limitations and challenges associated with these support structures. Some common challenges are scheduling a time to meet, navigating institutional power dynamics, and identifying individuals with shared interests and goals. This work proposes best practices for the development of an innovative peer mentoring structure that accounts for shared commitment to the advancement of engineering education. This paper will provide insight for engineering education faculty who are currently transitioning into or are planning to pursue a career in academia in the future. We will describe a framework to create a virtual community for peer mentoring. The value of a virtual peer mentoring community is that it can provide support that may not be available within one’s institution and it minimizes the negative impacts that may be associated with institutional power dynamics. The best practices that we will describe are informed by six early career engineering education faculty that developed and participated in a virtual community over the last two years. We will describe best practices in relation to identifying a shared vision, developing possible tangible outcomes, writing operating procedures for the group, selecting an appropriate platform for communication, and facilitating reflection and changes to practice.
Faber, C. J., Smith-Orr, C. S., Lee, W. C., Bodnar, C. A., Strong, A. C., & McCave, E. (2017), Best Practices for Developing a Virtual Peer Mentoring Community. Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio.