Approaching questions of research quality in an interpretive investigation of engineering students' competence formation

Walther, J. and Radcliffe, D. F. (2008). Approaching questions of research quality in an interpretive investigation of engineering students' competence formation. In: 2008 ASEE annual conference program : final conference program and proceedings. 2008 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Pittsburg, PA, (). 22 -24 June 2008.

Author Walther, J.
Radcliffe, D. F.
Title of paper Approaching questions of research quality in an interpretive investigation of engineering students' competence formation
Conference name 2008 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition
Conference location Pittsburg, PA
Conference dates 22 -24 June 2008
Proceedings title 2008 ASEE annual conference program : final conference program and proceedings
Journal name ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
Place of Publication Washinton, DC United States
Publisher American Society for Engineering Education
Publication Year 2008
Year available 2008
Sub-type Fully published paper
Total pages 16
Language eng
Abstract/Summary This paper introduces an interpretive research approach as one possible way to investigate complex social aspects of engineering education. With the aim of exploring questions of rigor in the interpretive enquiry, we present the details of a study into competence formation of engineering students. The study employed focus groups with engineering students from Germany, Australia and the US, to investigate the phenomenon of Accidental Competency formation. After reviewing research design, data gathering and interpretation procedure we present examples for the different types of findings produced in the interpretive enquiry. These results take the form of explanatory patterns, rich descriptions and an applicability study. Drawing on examples from the research, we offer the following three propositions as a starting point for discussing the quality of interpretive research in engineering education: (i) traditional criteria of validity and reliability are not directly applicable to the interpretive enquiry; (ii) alternative criteria such as trustworthiness or authenticity do not offer an overall measure of research quality; (iii) to mitigate this, we propose a process view of establishing research quality in a documented and demonstrated procedure.
Subjects 2200 Engineering
Q-Index Code E1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ
Additional Notes Description: 244 p. : ill. ; 28 cm. + 1 CD-ROM (col. ; 4 3/4 in.) Details: System requirements for accompanying material: Windows Me, XP or higher; Macintosh OSX 10.1 or higher; one of the following browsers: Internet Explorer 5.5 or higher, Netscape 8 or higher, Firefox 1 or higher, Safari; Acrobat Reader or other pdf-reading software; CD-ROM drive.

Document type: Conference Paper
Collection: School of Mechanical & Mining Engineering Publications
 
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