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IUPUI graduate student's research earns American Society for Engineering Education award


June 29, 2012

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An Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis engineering and technology student has received an American Society for Engineering Education award for research comparing student and faculty perceptions of the value of social media and high-speed technology in the classroom.

During the 2012 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference and Exposition, held June 10 to 13 in San Antonio, Tiffany Fisher, a Master of Science in technology student, received the Professional Interest Council II Best Paper Award for her paper, "Using Web 2.0 and Social Networking Technologies in the Classroom: A Comparison of Faculty and Student Perceptions."

The award-winning research paper discusses whether there is a significant difference between the perceptions of the School of Engineering and Technology faculty and those of their students in regards to the effectiveness of using Web 2.0 and social networking technologies in university settings. Results were based on quantitative and qualitative analysis of a 30-question survey sent to the entire student and faculty populations in December 2009 and January 2010.

Fisher’s report concluded that faculty perceptions of Web 2.0 and social networking technologies use in the classroom are more positive than student perceptions, but there is still a divide and strong opinions on both sides regarding the effectiveness of these technologies for classroom use. The paper determined that in general, there is still need for greater discussion on ways to effectively implement and regulate the classroom use of Web 2.0 and social networking technologies.

The professional society announced the nominees for the Best Paper award during the first day of the conference. “I was honestly floored when I found out that I won the award for best paper,” Fisher said. “It was something above and beyond what I expected for the week.”

Fisher’s paper had two faculty co-authors: Wanda Worley, Ph.D., and Eugenia Fernandez, Ph.D.

“I definitely attribute much of (the report’s ) success to both Wanda and Eugenia, as they were both instrumental in helping me complete this effort,” Fisher said.

The annual American Society for Engineering Education conference and exposition is dedicated to the exchange of ideas, teaching methods and curriculum, and to providing networking opportunities for engineering and technology education stakeholders. This year’s event hosted more than 400 technical sessions, with peer-reviewed papers spanning all disciplines of engineering education.