Funded through a Marie Skłodowska-Curie Individual Fellowship from the European Commission, Professor Shannon Chance will be joining UCL for two years from January 2018 to undertake the project “Designing Engineers: Harnessing the Power of Design Projects to Spur Cognitive and Epistemological Development of STEM Students”. During the fellowship, Prof Chance will collect data in four European countries—evaluating the role of design projects in the learning, epistemological development, and retention of students—with a focus on women’s experiences.
Working in collaboration with researchers from UCL’s Centre for Engineering Education, Prof Chance aims to generate new understanding of how students develop knowledge-production skills. She will investigate overlaps between epistemic cognition and design thinking. From the research on epistemic cognition, she will explore how engineering and architecture students conceptualize knowledge, and how they think new knowledge is made and verified in the process of design. An overarching objective is to develop and promote better ways to teach and support STEM students.
Prof Chance brings valuable experience to this interdisciplinary study. She is a licensed architect and with 18 years of experience teaching architecture, education, humanities, and engineering at third level in the US, Ireland, and Switzerland. Alongside teaching, she earned a PhD in higher education in 2010 and developed a focus on engineering education research through a 2012-13 Fulbright Fellowship at Dublin Institute of Technology (DIT) in Ireland. From 2014-16, she developed new skills in phenomenological research as a Marie Skłodowska-Curie at DIT. While working at UCL, Prof Chance will take a career break from her current post as Lecturer in the School of Multidisciplinary Technologies at DIT, and will build upon promising findings from her 2014-16 fellowship.