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The aim of our study is to properly assess students’ base level of their problem and information identification skill and identify the area(s) of development (gaps). The results provide us insights to develop effective teaching strategies to address these gaps. These two dimensions were identified by Grohs et al. as part of the required for operationalizing systems thinking. Study participants completed an activity proposed by the assessment tool that focuses on systems thinking and problem-solving as engineers by responding to a scenario that addressed technical and social contexts. The activity focuses on students’ responses to a given scenario and the prompts intended to guide respondents in a systems-thinking approach. Data was collected electronically and analyzed using qualitative coding methods. We applied the assessment tool rubric to evaluate student responses using systems thinking constructs from the framework. Results from this study showed that most students identified the technical and contextual constructs related to the scenario, but had trouble identifying the interactions of various constructs at some level of complexity. This study is contributing to laying out the foundation of our overarching project in which we are seeking to develop f teaching content that focuses on systems thinking skills by providing a solid understanding of the current systems thinking skill baseline level among university engineering students. Results from this study will inform researchers and educators on how students understand and navigate complex systems problems at an introductory level.
Goncher, A., & Li, M., & Mendoza, J. (2022, August), A Pilot Study Assessing Student’s Problem and Information Identification Skills in an Introductory Engineering Design Course Paper presented at 2022 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Minneapolis, MN. https://peer.asee.org/40702
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