June 15, 2019
June 15, 2019
October 19, 2019
Educational Research and Methods
WIP: Evidence-based analysis of the design of collaborative problem-solving engineering tasks This work-in-progress paper will analyze the effectiveness of the design of an ill-structured task implemented in a college-level engineering classroom, and make suggestions for future task design. Ill-structured tasks are important to college-level engineering courses because they are similar to authentic problems that students will encounter in their future workplaces. These tasks are usually motivating for students, and require collaboration to be solved. However, the design and implementation of these tasks in actual face-to-face engineering classrooms are challenging. Research has reported on the learning processes and outcomes associated with implementing these tasks in the classroom, but it is not clear which aspects of their design promote or hinder effective problem-solving processes. The purpose of this paper is to identify the problem-solving processes that were implemented by groups of undergraduate engineering students as they solved an ill-structured task, and then determine which aspects of the task design promoted or hindered those processes. Our ongoing collaboration study, [blinded for review], is a design-based implementation research project that involves the design and implementation of ill-structured tasks using a research-based framework we developed previously. These tasks were implemented in an actual undergraduate engineering classroom, where small groups of students worked collaboratively. As the groups worked to solve each ill-structured task, video and audio data was collected. In this paper, we will analyze the data from seven groups solving one task. Our video analysis will be guided by two coding schemes, both of which are informed by a research-based framework that was developed using literature that defines the four problem-solving processes necessary for solving ill-structured tasks. These processes are: problem representation, generating solutions, making justifications, and monitoring and evaluation. The first coding scheme analyzes student verbal interactions at the turn level to identify thematic episodes within the video that fit into each of these processes. The second coding scheme evaluates the quality of interaction in each of these episodes based on our framework. Through the use of these schemes, we will be able to identify instances when groups are effectively and ineffectively implementing each of the four necessary processes, and link these instances to aspects of the task design. Our analysis of how students solved our ill-structured task will determine which aspects of the task design were successful and which aspects need to be improved. Based on our results, we will also make suggestions for modification of the design of this task to further promote effective problem-solving processes. Our anticipated results will contribute to improving our task design framework for the design and implementation of future tasks. On a larger scale, our study promotes the evolution of collaborative problem solving by expanding on ill-structured task design theory. This research is especially relevant for engineering educators because it provides feedback on designing ill-structured tasks for engineering students.
Tucker, T., & Shehab, S., & Mercier, E., & Silva, M. (2019, June), Board 50: Work in Progress: Evidence-based Analysis of the Design of Collaborative Problem-solving Engineering Tasks Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32366
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