June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
Design in Engineering Education
22.87.1 - 22.87.10
A Preliminary Study of Conducting Semi-Structured Interview as Metacognitive Assessment in Engineering Design: Issues and ChallengesAbstractExploring metacognitive skills in students’ engineering design activities is important to betterunderstand how the students deal with problem solving. This understanding will benefit thestudents, engineering educators, and curriculum developers. Researchers realize thatmetacognitive assessment is a complex endeavor that suggests the need of using datatriangulation protocols. A mixed methods approach to research is also needed to gathercomprehensive and valid information about student metacognition. Among many other datacollection methods, the semi-structured interview is a widely used method. The semi-structuredmethod offers high flexibility and interaction while providing a consistant framework forinterviews. The objectives of this preliminary study were to investigate students’ activities thatreflect their metacognition, and to suggest what kind of preparation a researcher shouldundertake during a semi-structured interview.Engineering Graphics (MAE 1200) students (n = 4) at the College of Engineering, Utah StateUniversity, participated in this preliminary study. Butler and Cartier’s Self-Regulated Learningmodel was used to frame interview questions. Two graduate students in the Department ofEngineering and Technology Education conducted interview sessions to assess the participant’stask interpretation, strategies, monitoring activities, and judgment about their design at the earlyand final stages of a design project. Participant responses were categorized and tabulatedaccording to interview questions. The results suggest that there was a change in taskinterpretation and strategies during engineering design activity. Monitoring activities wereinfluenced by time constraint and software utilization to finish the design task. Most participantswere satisfied with their design result. In addition, issues and challenges as well as suggestionsfor conducting semi-structured interview are discussed in the paper.
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