July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021
July 19, 2022
NSF Grantees Poster Session
Learning is usually conceptualized as a process during which new information is processed in working memory to form knowledge structures called schemas, which are stored in long-term memory. Practice plays a critical role in developing schemas through learning-by-doing. Contemporary expertise development theories have highlighted the influence of deliberate practice (DP) on achieving exceptional performance in sports, music, and different professional fields. Concurrently, there is an emerging method for improving learning efficiency by combining deliberate practice with cognitive load theory (CLT), a cognition-architecture-based theory for instructional design.
Mechanics is a foundation for most branches of engineering. It serves to develop problem-solving skills and consolidate understanding of other subjects, such as applied mathematics and physics. Mechanics has been a challenging subject. Students need to understand governing principles to gain conceptual knowledge and acquire procedural knowledge to apply these principles to solve problems. Due to the difficulty in developing conceptual and procedural knowledge, mechanics courses are among those which receive high DFW rates (percentage of students receiving a grade of D or F or Withdrawing from a course) and students are more likely to leave engineering after taking mechanics courses. Since deliberate practice can help novices develop good representations of the knowledge needed to produce superior problem solving performance, this study is to evaluate how deliberate practice helps students learn mechanics during the process of schema acquisition and consolidation. Considering cognitive capacity limitations, we will apply cognitive load theory to develop deliberate practice to help students build declarative and procedural knowledge without exceeding their working memory limitations.
We will evaluate the effects of three practice strategies based on CLT on the schema acquisition and consolidation in two mechanics courses (i.e., Statics and Dynamics). Examples and assessment results will be provided to evaluate the effectiveness of the practice strategies as well as the challenges.
Tang, Y., & Bai, H., & Catrambone, R. (2021, July), Applying Deliberate Practice to Facilitate Schema Acquisition in Learning Introductory Mechanics Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--36691
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