CIVIL ENGINEERING 365 ALL ABOUT CIVIL ENGINEERING



Dear Readers:Last year was filled with unprecedented challenges. I received many emails from reviewers, authors, and editors asking for extended deadlines and accompanying their requests with stories about how their life was impacted by COVID. We provided flexibility to all and appreciate everyone’s important contributions to the Journal of Civil Engineering Education. We all hope that the coming months bring brighter news.One of my goals when taking on the role of editor of JCEE was to embrace our identity as a disciplinary education journal with a focus on teaching practitioners. I believe that much of the content in JCEE should be useful to educators in civil engineering (and related disciplines of architecture, construction, and environmental engineering). Educators should find value to their practice in JCEE research publications. This can come in several forms. Many traditional research articles can be useful in that the findings can be applied to the reader. Additionally, some JCEE articles focus on research on educational practices and their effect in civil engineering settings on a multitude of outcomes. Since they are classroom-focused, results from these articles can be very accessible and useful to educators.Research on education practices must satisfy criteria present in other engineering and science fields. For example, the gap in the literature that the study satisfies must be clearly articulated, the research questions must be novel and compelling, the link between the educational activity and the measured outcomes must be clearly described using the appropriate literature, the methods must be based on established educational research methodologies including instruments that yield valid and reliable data, and the results must provide evidence not currently available in the field. In contrast, a paper that presents the implementation of a particular educational strategy in an engineering classroom and its relation to students’ perception of the strategy can be useful but is not novel research. We recognize that adhering to these standards can be challenging, especially for those who may be doing educational research for the first time.We at JCEE believe that there are times when faculty should be able to publish the implementation of innovative education strategies in their classrooms, because this has value to the readership and also extends what we know about the innovations and their effectiveness. We have redefined a “Case Study” submission in JCEE to facilitate these types of submissions, in alignment with scholarship on teaching and learning. A description of the requirements for a case study can be found at (https://www.editorialmanager.com/jrneieng/download.aspx?scheme=7&id=35) in the document “JCEE Detailed Article Type Descriptions.”In order to be useful to educators, Case Study submissions must provide a literature review that describes the education practice(s) that were implemented. The intention of the literature review is not necessarily to describe all of the findings on the efficacy of the practice but to describe some of these findings, how individuals have implemented the practice, key elements of implementation, and other relevant information. Then the authors must describe in detail how they implemented this practice in the classroom, in sufficient detail that the reader can replicate it. Also, the description must tie to the literature on how to implement the practice. The authors may or may not include information on how students responded to the practice, but this information should be obviously useful to another educator. In Case Study submissions, we seek to have civil engineering educators share their stories of implementing evidence-based instructional practices in their classrooms. By evidence-based, we mean practices that empirical evidence strongly suggests lead to an improvement in student outcomes, such as learning and motivation (https://www.nap.edu/catalog/13362/discipline-based-education-research-understanding-and-improving-learning-in-undergraduate). Evidence-based practices in engineering education abound, including collaborative learning, problem- and project-based learning, active learning, service learning, and more.We hope to encourage more submissions from educators by redefining a case study for JCEE and we urge you to submit. As you prepare your articles, please keep in mind that they must describe an evidence-based practice and the reader must understand how what you did aligns with it. Submissions that clearly state the goals of the implementation, that are succinct, and that provide pertinent data without overwhelming the reader are greatly appreciated.The bridge between research and practice is complicated and has been studied in depth. A key element in encouraging the implementation of research findings is to understand how the findings (or evidence-base practice in this case) relate to individual contexts. In other words, how are people actually implementing a practice in their settings? We hope to facilitate the implementation of evidence-based practices by encouraging authors to share their implementations!



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