Document Type

Conference Paper


Available under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial Share Alike 4.0 International Licence

Publication Details

American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah, 2018.


This research paper provides a case study of experiences of engineering faculty members at a large public university in Ireland working together to transform their teaching methods. We investigate eight teachers’ experiences of a faculty-led learning community designed to help individuals transform their courses. This small collection of faculty met regularly to discuss ways to facilitate and assess students working in groups. Outside the group’s meetings, participants brought important issues to the forefront of formal and informal discussion with colleagues. Participation in the learning group encouraged, supported, and helped sustain change. This case study seeks to provide insight and a conceptual model for implementing changes. In analyzing the mechanisms that fostered change in one particular program and then interpreting the findings, we draw conclusions that can help faculty members, program administrators, strategists, and policy makers facilitate change in their other educational settings. To understand how key players experienced and achieved change, we conducted in-depth semistructured interviews with individual faculty members. We used a grounded theory approach (Strauss & Corbin, 1994) along with template analysis (King, 2004) to study interview transcripts. All members described having an active champion, an experienced and informed advisor, various forms of institutional support, and a group of colleagues interested in discussing pedagogy and implementing new approaches. From this, we distilled a model for encouraging transformation that holds promise for use elsewhere.