June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 18, 2014
K-12 & Pre-College Engineering
24.180.1 - 24.180.18
Analysis of Design Process Knowledge Task Responses: Statistical Approaches to Uncover Patterns (Research-to-Practice)While the Next Generation Science Standards have very recently solidified and are just nowbeginning to become adopted, engineering has already been taught in K-12 classrooms in someschools for many years. As engineering has been taught, different motivations have driven theinclusion of engineering: for purposes of increasing students’ interest in pursuing engineeringmajors and careers; for providing a context so that students’ might better learn mathematics andscience (and at times language arts, social studies and art skills too); and for students to learnengineering concepts and skills. One of the core engineering concepts and skills that students canlearn is the engineering design process—they can gain knowledge about what the design processis and what different activities make up the design process, and they can gain skills as they learnto employ the engineering design process.This work presents findings from five academic years worth of data collected from multipleschools, where teachers initially began to learn about engineering and how to teach engineeringin 2007. Throughout the history of the project, teachers and students were asked to complete anassessment task to measure the change in their understanding of the design process, eitherbefore-and-after a week-long teacher professional development workshop or at the beginning-vs.-end of the academic school year. Analysis of the data (which includes 1,171 responses from2nd, 3rd and 4th graders) has already established that there are changes in both teachers andstudents’ understanding of the design process (as measured by the task).At this point, analysis focuses on identifying patterns in the data beyond the simple comparisonsalready conducted to determine that there were pre-/post-test differences. First, we employ anormative cluster technique to identify groups of responses that are more strongly coupled thanothers to determine how to lay the groundwork for the construction of a structural equationmodel in a larger study. Second, we employ classic and novel techniques in list analysis forsimple ranking of the two lists (students and teachers), treating the teacher responses as a semi-homogeneous “expert” group of respondents. While analysis is currently underway, the analysiswill be completed prior to submission of the full conference paper.The results of this analysis (as well as dissemination of the task itself) can provide valuableinsights as we see a dramatic increase in the number of elementary schools adopting NGSS andtherefore including engineering design process instruction. Additionally, we believe that theresults will be able to inform efforts aimed at preparing teachers for engineering designeducation.
Cardella, M. E., & Hsu, M., & Ricco, G. D. (2014, June), Analysis of Design Process Knowledge Task Responses: Statistical Approaches to Uncover Patterns (Research) Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20071
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