June 20, 2010
June 20, 2010
June 23, 2010
15.266.1 - 15.266.18
CCLI: Model Eliciting Activities: Experiments and Mixed Methods to Assess Student Learning Abstract As part of a seven university CCLI Type 3 collaborative effort addressing models and modeling as a foundation for undergraduate curriculum enhancement and assessment, we are building upon and extending the model eliciting activity (MEA) construct, originally developed and validated by mathematics education researchers. Our overall goal is to enhance problem solving and modeling skills and conceptual learning of engineering students through the use this construct. At the University of Pittsburgh, we have pursued two main research avenues: MEAs as teaching tools and MEA as learning assessment tools. This paper summarizes our results to date. Under the first – using MEAs as a teaching tool – we have focused on three main activities: development of effective MEAs, implementation of (new or adapted) MEAs, and enhancing the learning benefits of MEAs:
Under the second stream - using MEAs as a learning tool - we have focused on two additional activities: assessing the effectiveness of MEAs in various dimensions including improving conceptual learning and problem solving, and assessing the MEA motivated problem solving process.
We summarize our achievements in these five activities over the first two and half years of our four year project. We provide an overview of the 18 MEAs we have developed or modified. Particular emphasis is placed on our mixed measurements of student learning and achievement, including the use of pre and post concept inventories, deconstruction of MEA solution paths and conceptual understanding, rubric scoring of completed MEAs and student reflections of the just completed problem solving process.
Introduction “Collaborative Research: Improving Engineering Students' Learning Strategies Through Models and Modeling” is a CCLI Type 3 project involving seven university partners: California Polytechnic State University, Colorado School of Mines, Purdue University, United States Air Force Academy, University of Pittsburgh, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and Pepperdine University. We are building upon and extending the model-eliciting activities (MEA) constructoriginally developed by mathematics educators, that has recently been introduced into engineering education. These posed scenarios simulate authentic, real-world problems that teams of students then address. MEAs were first developed as a mechanism for observing the development of student problem-solving competencies and the growth of mathematical cognition. However, it has been increasingly documented that MEAs provide a learning methodology that helps students become better problem solvers.
We are taking the theoretical framework from mathematics education and research results from a series of NSF funded studies in order to create a strategic, scalable approach for addressing crucial goals in engineering education. These include: ≠ Developing effective, transferable competencies in problem-solving and creativity; ≠ More effectively learning and retaining important concepts; and ≠ More effectively identifying misconceptions and nurturing positive ethical frameworks.
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