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Department of Information Technology

Introduction to Engineering Education Research

Unit C: Engineering Education Research Literature, 5 ECTS

In all research it is essential to know what the other researchers have done in areas, which are close to one´s own research questions. However, it is also important to have a good overview of the research field as a whole. This allows positioning one´s research in the field, and understanding similarities and differences between one´s own and others´ research.

This unit aims at building an overall understanding of the Engineering Education Research (EER) literature, and gives guidelines where to look for relevant information, as well as, where to publish papers and how to build successful collaboration with peer scholars.


It is recommended that the course participants have passed the Units A (Introduction to EER) and B (Introduction to research methodologies) in the EER research course before entering the course. If not, they should prepare a research plan that includes the following:

  • Background and motivation
  • Research goals and research questions
  • Methodological plan, how they aim at tackling the questions.

All participants must meet the general entry conditions for the EER research course.

Learning outcome

After the unit the participants should have a broad view of EER literature, including subfields of EER, related fields, different research approaches applied in the field, what kind of research is carried out, and where the results are published.

Outcome in students' research

The participants will augment their research plan by positioning their research in the EER field, and listing and analyzing relevant related work concerning their own research. The outcome could also include a substantial part of the literature survey in the student´s doctoral thesis

Course leader

Prof. Lauri Malmi, Helsinki University of Technology, Espoo, Finland


Helsinki University of Technology, Espoo, Finland

Course content

Part 1 (August 25-27, 2010)

Day 1:

  • Scope of EER - what is or could be included in EER?
  • Related fields: Science education, Mathematics education, Physics education, Computing Education, Higher education, Educational technology
  • Do we need borderlines between disciplines or should we try to get rid of them?
  • Subfields of EER
  • What areas are being researched in EER and related fields?

Day 2:

  • Classifying research
  • Why classifying?
  • Different ways of classifying research
  • Example classifications
  • What kinds of results different types of researches have given?

Day 3:

  • What makes a good research paper - the reviewer´s perspective
  • Publication forums
  • Relevant journals and conferences
  • Different types of publishing forums
  • Collaboration activities in EER
  • What is there in the field now?
  • What should / could we do to build up successful collaboration

Between the two parts, the participants will carry out independent survey of literature to identify:

  • What has been researched in my topic area?
  • What kind of research there has been carried out?
  • What would my contribution be in the field?

They also write a substantial part of a literature survey relevant to their research. This
will be sent to some others in the group to peer review and getting feedback.

Part 2 (Oct 18-19, 2010)

Day 4:

  • Presentation of results of the intermediate task
  • Joint discussions based on peer review of submissions.

Day 5:

  • Reflecting the whole
  • What have we learned in the whole EER course?
  • Future plans in the students´ own research
  • Creating a network for future collaboration and support
Updated  2010-12-14 14:56:48 by Arnold Pears.