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Assessment of Reflective and Metacognitive Practices for Electrical and Computer Engineering Undergraduates

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


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Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

NSF Grantees: Student Learning 3

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NSF Grantees Poster Session

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Samuel J. Dickerson University of Pittsburgh Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Samuel Dickerson is an assistant professor at the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering. His general research interests lie in the area of electronics, circuits and embedded systems and in particular, technologies in those areas that have biomedical applications. He has expertise in the design and simulation of mixed-signal integrated circuits and systems that incorporate the use of both digital and analog electronics, as well as optics, microfluidics and devices that interface to the biological world. Dr. Dickerson is also interested in enhancing undergraduate engineering education, and investigates new and innovative methods for improving the learning experience for electrical and computer engineering students.

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Renee M. Clark University of Pittsburgh

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Renee Clark is Research Assistant Professor of Industrial Engineering and Director of Assessment for the Engineering Education Research Center (EERC) in the Swanson School of Engineering, University of Pittsburgh. She conducts research on education projects that focus on active learning and engineering professional development. Current research includes the propagation of active learning throughout the Swanson School and the use of systematic reflection and metacognitive activities within coursework. She received the Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh and the MS in Mechanical Engineering from Case Western. She has over 25 years of experience as an engineer and analyst in industry and academia. She completed her post-doctoral studies in engineering education at the University of Pittsburgh.

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Nan Jiang

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Reflection, or thinking about what one is doing, is necessary for learning. To this end, as part of a National Science Foundation (NSF PFE: RIEF) funded research project, we are studying the extent to which systematic, frequent reflection enhances students’ reflective and metacognitive practices and learning of microelectronics. As part of our method, we are incorporating computer-aided simulation tools in the reflection process by having students re-evaluate their quiz and exam performance using SPICE simulation tools.

At the project outset, we assessed the state of students’ reflective and metacognitive practices using a survey at the start of the course. An open-ended question on the survey was content-analyzed to determine students’ start-of-course definition of reflection using an emergent coding scheme that approximately aligned with Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy. The results showed that surface-level descriptions of reflection, such as “remembering” or “looking back on past actions,” were the most-frequently stated definitions by students. This showed an opportunity to improve the students’ depth of understanding of reflection, metacognition, and the benefits. Various closed ended questions on the survey asked students to describe their prior experience with using simulation for reflection and experiences with reflection in general in their courses. The results showed that their prior experiences were limited; therefore, there was a need to integrate these practices throughout the course and likely throughout engineering curricula in general.

Dickerson, S. J., & Clark, R. M., & Jiang, N. (2020, June), Assessment of Reflective and Metacognitive Practices for Electrical and Computer Engineering Undergraduates Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34193

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