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A review of Adaptive Expertise and its integration within undergraduate engineering curricula

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Middle Atlantic ASEE Section Spring 2021 Conference



Publication Date

April 9, 2021

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April 9, 2021

End Date

April 10, 2021

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Frank T Fisher Stevens Institute of Technology (School of Engineering and Science) Orcid 16x16

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Frank T. Fisher is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology, where he served as the Interim Department Director / Department Chair from April 2013 to August 2018. He earned BS degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mathematics from the University of Pittsburgh, and Masters degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Learning Sciences (School of Education and Social Policy) and a Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Northwestern. His research interests include characterization of multifunctional nano-reinforced polymer systems, multiscale modeling of nanocomposites and materials, vibration energy harvesting/scavenging, and engineering pedagogy and instructional technologies. Awards that he has received include the NSF CAREER award, the 2016 Alexander Crombie Humphreys Distinguished Teaching Associate Professor award (Stevens), the 2014 Distinguished Faculty Mentor Award from the Stevens Student Government Association, the 2009 ASEE Mechanics Division Outstanding New Educator Award, and the 2009 Outstanding Teacher Award from the Stevens Alumni Association.

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Alexander J De Rosa Stevens Institute of Technology (School of Engineering and Science)

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Alexander De Rosa is a Teaching Associate Professor in Mechanical Engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology. He gained his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from The Pennsylvania State University in 2015 and his M.Eng. in Mechanical Engineering from Imperial College London in 2010. Dr. De Rosa is currently working in the areas of deeper learning and knowledge transfer, and has published various articles in the field of spatial skills training and assessment.

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While engineering programs must continue to cover as much content knowledge as possible, engineering programs must also take an active role in developing the abilities of their graduates to successfully apply and extend the content knowledge that they have learned towards professional practice. In this context, the concept of “adaptive expertise” has been previously developed for the context of undergraduate engineering education. An adaptive expert refers to an individual who possesses the content knowledge of an expert, but who in addition displays specific cognitive dispositions that augment and enhance their ability to effectively utilize their content knowledge in practice. While content domain knowledge will continue to be a driving focus of the undergraduate engineering curriculum, it is clearly necessary for schools to foster additional skills and attitudes that will better prepare students for careers as practicing engineers. Further, a change in focus from course-centric to student-centric learning affords the opportunity to critically address the question of the type of student growth that engineering programs should strive to develop. In this paper we will review recent efforts to address or adapt the explicit integration of adaptive expertise and related student dispositions within the undergraduate engineering curriculum.

Fisher, F. T., & De Rosa, A. J. (2021, April), A review of Adaptive Expertise and its integration within undergraduate engineering curricula Paper presented at Middle Atlantic ASEE Section Spring 2021 Conference, Virtual . 10.18260/1-2--36282

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