Engineering education research has evolved considerably over the last several decades and has revealed much about effective teaching practices for engineering. There is some concern that the level of adoption of these effective teaching practices across the engineering programs is relatively low and that meaningful assessment of student learning using innovative practices is rare. One reason for this may be a lack of meaningful dialogue about these practices at a discipline specific level, creating a disconnect between engineering education researchers and the larger group of education practitioners. A systematic literature review is a method for exploring a large amount of published material to expose underlying trends. This paper uses the subdiscipline of Transportation Engineering to illustrate the use of a systematic literature review as a catalyst for improving the dialogue on the adoption of more effective teaching practices and the assessment of student learning using these practices. This paper discusses the methodology for performing a systematic literature review, highlights some of the case study findings in the context of how these findings can be used to identify next steps for instigating transformative change in the field of transportation engineering education, and makes a case for the use of systematic literature reviews in other areas of engineering.
What a systematic literature review tells us about transportation engineering education