Research - Discipline based education research


Discipline-based education research (DBER


Engineering Education

Discipline-based education research (DBER) in engineering encompasses the study of teaching and learning in engineering from the perspective of engineering as a whole and the individual engineering disciplines – their domain knowledge, practices, culture, world outlook, and concerns.  It is the study of the teaching and learning of our youngest engineering hopefuls to the practices and wisdom of our retiring engineers and all students and practitioners in between. The body of research that is generated provides the evidence for local, national, and global change in how we educate students.

The vision for the UNL College of Engineering’s (COE) DBER initiative is to be a national leader in this research space. To this end, the COE DBER community nurtures and conducts rigorous and collaborative engineering education research within and across engineering disciplines, conducting applied and fundamental research to addresses research questions concerning the knowledge and skills, attitudes, and behaviors acquired by students through formal curricula and informal programming. COE DBER faculty and their research groups impact teaching and learning locally while making national and international contributions to the knowledge-base for engineering education.

COE DBER engineering faculty reside in their respective disciplines where, through their presence and participation on their faculties, they build relationships and collaborations with their disciplinary colleagues to conduct engineering discipline-specific education research that focuses on aspects unique to the education and preparation of professionals in their discipline. The faculty also engage with the greater COE and university communities to conduct cross-disciplinary research focused on aspects common to the education and preparation of all engineering professionals.

Heidi Diefes-Dux, Professor, Biological Systems Engineering

COE currently has three open tenure-track faculty positions for DBER experts.  Heidi Diefes-Dux, Professor, Biological Systems Engineering, is the search committee chair for three assistant professors of engineering education. Review of applications began 10/15/18: http://employment.unl.edu/postings/60568.

Additional DBER activities at UNL: http://scimath.unl.edu/dber/.

The primary goal of the Discipline-Based Education Research (DBER) group is to study college-level STEM education through learning sciences and education research that is grounded within the cognate expertise of STEM disciplines. DBER research and change efforts work to inform college-level STEM education, drawing on multi-faceted inputs and support. Thus, the DBER Group is composed of faculty, staff and students from STEM, education and other fields who share a common interest in studying and transforming STEM education (formal and informal, PK-16+) through both basic and applied research.