Feedback on Professional Skills as Enculturation into Communities of Practice

TitleFeedback on Professional Skills as Enculturation into Communities of Practice
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2015
AuthorsGilbuena, DM, Sherrett, BU, Gummer, ES, Champagne, AB, Koretsky, MD
JournalJournal of Engineering Education
Date Published2015
Publication Languageeng
ISBN Number10694730
Keywordscapstone , Core , ENGINEERING , ENGINEERS , Feedback , Group , OCCUPATIONAL , professional , research
AbstractBackground Professional skills are critical in engineering practice. Differing definitions and lack of empirical evidence make it difficult to help students develop these skills. Purpose This research seeks to understand what it means to have professional skills in an industrially situated capstone project and, by extension, in engineering. We also aim to demonstrate the influence on those skills of the feedback provided to students. Design/Method Our ethnographic study employs discourse analysis to focus on professional skills. Using the construct of communities of practice, we describe and analyze conversations between a coach and four student teams as the coach provided feedback, and conversations among students as they worked in teams. Results Approximately half the discussion addressed the following professional skills: communication, documentation, teamwork, the economic impact of engineering solutions, and project management. Development of professional skills promotes students' enculturation into both a disciplinary community (chemical engineering) and an industrial community (semiconductor industry). Feedback on professional skills generally was given in the context of technical aspects, and we found an interplay between the teams' participation in professional skills activities and participation in more technical activities. Conclusions Participation in engineering design projects provides students opportunities to practice both professional and technical skills. Feedback on professional skills helps students recognize how to simultaneously represent themselves as legitimate members of multiple communities of practice. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]Copyright of Journal of Engineering Education is the property of Wiley-Blackwell and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.)
NotesGilbuena, Debra M. 1 Sherrett, Benjamin U. 1 Gummer, Edith S. 2 Champagne, Audrey B. 3 Koretsky, Milo D. 1; Affiliation: 1: Oregon State University 2: WestEd 3: University at Albany, State University of New York; Source Info: Jan2015, Vol. 104 Issue 1, p7; Subject Term: ENGINEERING -- Study & teaching; Subject Term: RESEARCH; Subject Term: ENGINEERS -- Training of; Subject Term: CORE competencies; Subject Term: OCCUPATIONAL training; Subject Term: GROUP work in education -- Research; Author-Supplied Keyword: capstone projects; Author-Supplied Keyword: feedback; Author-Supplied Keyword: professional skills; NAICS/Industry Codes: 624310 Vocational Rehabilitation Services; Number of Pages: 28p; Document Type: Article