Monday, June 27, 2011

Engineering Education Innovation ASEE 2011 Main Plenary

To sum up, make it active, incorporate collaborative learning, problem-based learning, formative assessment and reflection, possibly even "look ahead homework" instead of just readings and guess what? Students learn more!

Resources to check out:

• Jamieson & Lohmann (2009) – Creating a Culture for Scholarly & Systematic Innovation (see part 1 report) and their Innovation Cycle of Education Practice and Research , final report will be presented Wed. 10:30am
CLEERhub Collaboratory for Engineering Education Research

Active/Collaborative Learning
Michael Prince – Bucknell
Active Learning Continuum – instructor vs. student centered
Student centered learning includes structured team activities, problem-based learning.

Does is work? Research using “pause” procedure to enhance lecture recall found that with the pause students could recall 108 correct facts vs. 80 without the pause. Less can be more. Another study shows that active learning is twice as effective as lecturing. See Hake 1988 article in American Journal of Physics which  shows students learn twice as much when instructors used active learning techniques. Often variation in student questioning can help students learn. For instance, instead of picking one students to respond, ask all to reflect for 60 seconds. When working with teams, Prince gave us a scenario to reflect upon the problems with a team-based assignment. Collaborative learning (CL) using structure to improve teamwork. Regular self-assessment, positive interdependence with individual accountability. Give students complex activities where they need each other to complete the learning activities. Springer, et al (1999) Effects of Small Group Learning paper showed CL works.

Khairiyah Mohd Yusof from Universiti Teknologi Malaysia described Problem-Based Learning (PBL) Model is an inductive model of teaching and learning. Three critical elements of PBL include: instructors as designer/coach/facilitator, realistic problem, student as problem solver (Tan, 2003). Students show effective learning outcomes with PBL in the areas of knowledge retention, skills, positive attitude, among other metacognitive skills.

See Woods 1994 students cope with change and instructors need to explain and rationalize, as students go through a grieving process since PBL is so different that traditional learning. Suggests instructors move from informal collaborative learning to macro-level PBL.

First Year Engineering Design
Jacquelyn Sullivan discussed student-focused engineering design education. First year design began to infuse in early 1990s to provide students exposure to the real world of engineering. Helped students make leaps from science & math to engineering. Project-oriented education requires synthesis from many disciplines.
Early design experiences share confidence and allows them to experience mastery experiences (see Stevens, Hutchinson-Green). Learning happens between people, see research of Stevens. Suggests we reimagine engineering as socio-technical work.

Robin Adams and colleagues research focuses on entwinement, which is what design education is all about. Deborah Kilgore and others found female college students to be more ready for engineering design.

Self efficacy & the fuzzy stuff: Hutchinson-Green and colleagues found conference in ones abilities to perform tasks and achieve success in the engineering environment. Research links positive self-efficacy and persistence, achievement and interest. Highlights need for students to experience and confirm mastery within first year. At University of Colorado, Boulder they found when looking at six year graduate rates, women are 25% more likely to persist if they have first year design experience.

Engineering the Future
Arnold Pears, Uppsala University, CeTUSS (national center for pedagogical development in technology education in a societal and student oriented context)

Interdisciplinary projects

  • “authentic problems cross disciplines” - Sherra Kerns, Olin College
  • Integrative project work achievable model for many institutions.

• Bannerot 2010: establishment of these types of courses hard to establish

Successful Interdisciplinary Project:
- Integrates knowledge/skills from team
- Builds additional competence in project management, virtual teamwork, cultural and interdisciplinary teamwork
- Allows students to complete project lifecycle from conception  delivery
- Opportunity to learn professional skills with close mentorship in secure setting, at least twice during their education

Assessment of Conceptual Understanding
David L. Darmofal, MIT AEROASTRO
Conceptual Understanding– see Perkins 2006 for definition but basically “understanding principles governing domain.”

Ozdemir & Clark, 2007 – see for Organization of conceptual knowledge

Forms of Assessment Used:
- Concept Inventories: to assess understanding within physics, etc.
- Oral interviews and exams: useful in identifying misconceptions, but can be time consuming, but improves likelihood of accurate assessment, about ½ of MITs ugrad use oral assessment within at this point
- Concept Questions & Peer Instruction: focus on single concept, multiple choice, more than one plausible answer (using electronic poll system to get responses)
- Student Preparation: Look-ahead homework – used to give only reading, now they also give homeworks that are due before discussion of concept within class

Teaching/Learning System
Anne Dollár, Miami University
Hattie, John. 2009 Visible Learning shows formative assessment has high impact on student learning.
- feedback to students: on progress, non-threatening
- feedback to instructors: on both individual and class performances
- opportunity to close gap between current and desired performance

Open Learning Initiative: Example within Engineering Statics
Learning by doing, electronic system with electronic feedback, scaffolding and hints, if students don’t ask for hints, they may be moved further along while others get more opportunity for practice.

Inverted classroom, where first contact with materials students are studying electronically prior to class and come prepared to be engaged in more intense activities. Instructors monitor to determine where students are struggling, so this learning dashboard allows instructors to focus on target areas that need elaboration and reinforcement.
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