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Assessing conceptual mapping based active learning for advancing engineering diagnostic skills

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Dimensions of Engineering Literacy and Engineering in General Education

Tagged Division

Technological and Engineering Literacy/Philosophy of Engineering

Tagged Topic


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Paper Authors


Yuetong Lin Indiana State University

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Yuetong Lin received the Ph.D. degree in Systems and Industrial Engineering from the University of Arizona, Tucson, in 2005. He was with Indiana State University from 2005 to 2016, where he became associate professor of Electronics and Computer Engineering Technology, and the program coordinator for Computer Engineering Technology. He joined Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Worldwide in September 2016 as an associate professor in the Department of Engineering and Technology.

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A. Mehran Shahhosseini Indiana State University

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A. Mehran Shahhosseini is an Associate Professor in the Department of Applied Engineering and Technology Management at Indiana State University. He has published over 45 articles in different journals and conference proceedings. He has served as an investigator for research projects sponsored by National Science Foundation, Ford Motor Company, and the US Army. Before working at Indiana State University, he was a faculty
in the University of Louisville for 10 years. He also has over four years of industrial experience.
He received his D.Eng. degree in Mechanical Engineering from Lamar University (USA) in 1999, M.Sc. in Materials Engineering from Isfahan University of Technology (Iran) in 1991, and B.Sc. in Metallurgical Engineering from Tehran University (Iran) in 1988. He is a member of ASEE, ASME, SAE, and ATMAE.

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M. Affan Badar University of Sharjah & Indiana State University Orcid 16x16

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M. Affan Badar, PhD is Professor & Chair, Industrial Engineering & Eng Mgt Department at University of Sharjah (UAE). He is a tenured professor in Applied Engineering & Technology Management Department at Indiana State University (USA) where he also served as interim associate dean, dept chair, and program coordinator. He is an ABET program evaluator. He received a Ph.D. degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Oklahoma, M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals, and M.Sc. in Industrial Engineering and B.Sc. (Hons.) in Mechanical Engineering from Aligarh Muslim University. Dr. Badar has published more than 50 articles in refereed journals and proceedings in the areas of coordinate metrology, lean manufacturing, health care, energy system design

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Active learning differs from traditional instructional pedagogy by emphasizing student activities and engagement in the learning process. The most frequently discussed types of active learning are collaborative learning, co-operative learning, and problem-based learning. Various studies have shown that active learning is gaining attention in the education community, and increases student performance in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, or STEM subjects.

Critical thinking and problem solving are fundamental skills that are coveted by employers of engineering graduates. Both require students to demonstrate not only solid domain knowledge, but the application of the knowledge in addressing real-world problems. Active learning, with its common forms, is ideal to blend pertinent curriculum elements to help students develop the highly-sought abilities. The issues now become: a) identifying the proper problem to provide context and motivation; and b) finding the technical vehicle for student engagement and assessment. For the first issue, we have found that providing accurate and timely diagnosis for system failures or malfunctions is a common theme in many STEM, in particular engineering and technology disciplines, and embodies the culmination of the aforementioned skills. For the second issue where students' mastery of the skills is to be demonstrated and evaluated, we believe concept maps are a fitting tool because of their use of both content and process knowledge to create visual maps of a diagnostic strategy to identify technical problems.

From 2012 to 2015, the National Science Foundation funded the Advancing Diagnostic Skills Training in the Undergraduate Technology and Engineering Curriculum at Indiana State University. The work was to experiment with using conceptual mapping to help undergraduates become more “flexible thinkers” relative to technical problem solving. For research purposes, we focused our attention on the diagnostic phase of technical troubleshooting. The modules were tested at five institutions and by over one hundred students in engineering technology programs. In this paper we collage student and faculty feedback, both qualitatively and quantitatively, from these trials. Furthermore, through these data we will present our analysis and assessment of concept map based approach in improving student critical thinking skills and more broadly, the effectiveness of active learning in increasing student performance in STEM.

Lin, Y., & Shahhosseini, A. M., & Badar, M. A. (2017, June), Assessing conceptual mapping based active learning for advancing engineering diagnostic skills Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--27620

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