June 23, 2013
June 23, 2013
June 26, 2013
23.213.1 - 23.213.14
Assessing Metacognitive Awareness during Problem-Solving in a Kinetics and Homogeneous Reactor Design CourseSince practicing engineers are hired, retained, and rewarded for solving problems, engineeringstudents should learn how to solve workplace problems1. However, it is well known that in mostcases, workplace engineering problems are substantively different from the kinds of problemsthat engineering students most often solve in classrooms; therefore, learning to solve classroomproblems does not necessarily prepare engineering students to face the activity they will bepracticing as professionals1, 2. Therefore, we designed and implemented several problem-solvinglearning environments (PSLEs) for the junior course entitled Kinetics and Homogeneous ReactorDesign at University ABC3. Metacognition has been shown to be important for the solution ofmore open-ended and well-structured problems2. Flavell4, 5 distinguished two characteristics ofmetacognition: knowledge of cognition (KC) and regulation of cognition (RC). KC includesknowledge of task, strategy, and personal variables. That is, metacognitive knowledge includesknowledge of the skills required by different tasks, strategic knowledge (knowledge ofalternative learning strategies and when to use them) and self-knowledge (knowledge of one’sabilities and the abilities of others). RC includes the ability to monitor one’s comprehension andto control one’s learning activities. The self-regulation factor of metacognition describesactivities that regulate and oversee learning such as planning (predicting outcomes, schedulingstrategies) and problem-monitoring activities (monitoring, testing, revising and reschedulingduring learning). Self-regulation also involves evaluation.In order to support student metacognitive processing while learning to solve kinetics andhomogeneous reactor design problems, the instructor created a supportive social environment inthe course and inserted a series of question prompts during PSLEs, as a form of coaching wherethe problem to be solved was represented as a case, and cases were used in various ways (workedexamples, case studies, structural analogues, prior experiences, alternative perspectives, andsimulations) as instructional supports. The Metacognitive Awareness Inventory (MAI) designedby Schraw and Dennison6 was utilized as a pre- (first day of classes) post- (last day of classes)test. MAI is a 52-item inventory to measure adults’ metacognitive awareness. Items are classifiedinto eight subcomponents subsumed under two broader categories, KC and RC. Furthermore, inorder to assess metacognitive awareness during problem-solving activities, students had toanswer the corresponding problem as well as 2-3 embedded problem-solving prompts2 and 4-6embedded metacognitive prompts (from MAI).Results for the pre-post MAI show a significant (p0.05) in MAI. Promoting metacognitiveawareness and skills could be a valuable method for improving learning and student performanceduring kinetics and homogeneous reactor design problem-solving, as has been previouslyreported for professional educators7 and dental hygiene students8. Jonassen, D. H., Strobel, J., and Lee, C. B. 2006. Everyday problem solving in engineering: Lessons for engineering educators. Journal of Engineering Education, 95(2): 1–14. Jonassen, D. H. 2011. Learning to Solve Problems: A Handbook for Designing Problem- Solving Learning Environments. Routledge: New York. XXX [For blind review purposes]. 2012. Proceedings of the 2012 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, San Antonio, TX, June 10 – 13. Flavell, J. 1976. Metacognitive aspects of problem-solving. In L. B. Resnick (Ed.), The nature of intelligence (pp. 231–236). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Flavell, J. 1979. Metacognition and cognitive monitoring: A new area of cognitive- developmental inquiry. American Psychologist, 34(10): 906–911. Schraw, G., and Dennison, R. S. 1994. Assessing metacognitive awareness. Contemporary Educational Psychology, 19: 460-475. Stewart, P. W., Cooper. S. S., and Moulding, L. R. 2007. Metacognitive development in professional educators. The Researcher, 21(1): 32-40. Gassner, L. 2009. Developing metacognitive awareness: a modified model of a PBL-tutorial. Thesis for the Bachelor of Odontology in Oral Health. Malmö University. Sweden.
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