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Board 68: Problem-solving Rationales of Practicing Transportation and Hydraulic Engineers When Provided Multiple Contextual Representations

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Conference

2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

June 19, 2019

Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count

9

DOI

10.18260/1-2--32404

Permanent URL

https://strategy.asee.org/32404

Download Count

55

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Paper Authors

biography

Masoud Ghodrat Abadi California State University, Sacramento

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Masoud Ghodrat Abadi is an assistant professor in Civil Engineering at California State University, Sacramento. He received his PhD in 2018 from Oregon State University. He is a member of standing committee on Education and Training in Transportation Research Board (TRB).

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Sean Lyle Gestson Oregon State University

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Sean Gestson is a recent graduate from the University of Portland where he studied Civil Engineering with a focus in Water Resources and Environmental Engineering. He is currently conducting Engineering Education research while pursuing a doctoral degree in Civil Engineering at Oregon State University. His research interests include problem solving, decision making, and engineering curriculum development.

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Shane A. Brown P.E. Oregon State University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-3669-8407

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Shane Brown is an associate professor and Associate School Head in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Oregon State University. His research interests include conceptual change and situated cognition. He received the NSF CAREER award in 2010 and is working on a study to characterize practicing engineers’ understandings of core engineering concepts. He is a Senior Associate Editor for the Journal of Engineering Education.

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David S. Hurwitz Oregon State University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-8450-6516

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Dr. David Hurwitz is an Associate Professor of Transportation Engineering in the School of Civil and Construction Engineering at Oregon State University and is the Director of the OSU Driving and Bicycling Simulator Laboratory. Dr. Hurwitz conducts research in transportation engineering , in the areas of traffic operations and safety, and in engineering education, in the areas of conceptual assessment and curriculum adoption.

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Abstract

This research documented the glance patterns and conceptual understanding of practicing engineers attempting to solve conceptual exercises with different contexts. Two mechanisms for data collection -- eye-tracking and reflective clinical interviews -- were employed to more holistically understand practicing engineers’ interaction and reasoning while solving transportation and hydraulic design problems.

Data collection involved the use of three carefully developed questions in both transportation (with 3 contextual representations) and hydraulic design (with 4 contextual representations). The process required each participant to sit in front of a computer monitor that displays the problem statement and four contexts on a single slide. The participant was required to wear the eye tracking equipment while they solved the problems and their eye movements and focus patterns were collected. During the experiment, the participants completely solve each of the presented problems. If necessary, the participants were allowed to ask clarifying questions. Once the participants completed all three problems, the eye tracking equipment was removed and the post retrospective interview was conducted and audio recorded. Each of the participants was asked the same series of questions that focus on the problem-solving process.

In total 52 practicing (28 hydraulics engineering students and 24 transportation engineering students) participated as subjects in the data collection efforts. This is in addition to the 52 practicing engineers who previously participated in data collection. Based on our current literature review, this is the largest eye-tracking / reflective interview study of problem solving that has been conducted to date.

The interview and visual attention data was used to document seven (comprehensive, experimental effect, familiarity, judgement, simplicity, speed, and stepwise) problem solving rationales in response to the transportation engineering questions and four (speed, familiarity, accuracy, and simplicity) problem solving rationales in response to the hydraulics engineering questions.

Ghodrat Abadi, M., & Gestson, S. L., & Brown, S. A., & Hurwitz, D. S. (2019, June), Board 68: Problem-solving Rationales of Practicing Transportation and Hydraulic Engineers When Provided Multiple Contextual Representations Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32404

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