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Coaching Students Toward Better Learning A Workshop Approach

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1997 Annual Conference


Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Publication Date

June 15, 1997

Start Date

June 15, 1997

End Date

June 18, 1997



Page Count


Page Numbers

2.104.1 - 2.104.10



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Paper Authors

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Roger Ware

author page

Charles F. Yokomoto

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 3230


Charles F. Yokomoto/Roger Ware Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis


In this paper, we describe an out-of-class, voluntary, weekly series of workshops that we offer to students who want help in improving their ability to learn and demonstrate learning in the engineering classroom. Weekly sessions are held, where students are given experiences in the development of a range of learning skills and problem solving skills that have been described as essential for performance on exams that test with problem solving [1-3]. The exercises engage the students in different cognitive processes, ways of thinking, and problem solving processes and demonstrate the complexity of expertise and the importance of the development of thinking skills while

Rather than the behavioral approach that would typically include topics such as time management, taking notes, motivation, and effort, the workshops follow a cognitive approach. We focus on the cognitive skills used by successful learners, basing the workshops on taxonomies of problem solving and cognition such as the Dean and Plants taxonomy of problem solving [1], Bloom's taxonomy in the cognitive domain [2], respectively, as well as other processes such as brainstorming, visualization, and organizing information. There are three objectives of the workshop series: (1) to demonstrate and disclose some of the specific, learning skills that are essential for superior performance in engineering problem solving, (2) to give students practice in acquiring the skills, and (3) to make students aware that accomplished learning requires a broader range of learning processes than just learning the solutions to homework problems.

Background Information

The workshop series was begun under the general premise that some students will benefit from a formal coaching program in learning skills, just as music students and athletes benefit from coaching in the music skills and sport skills, respectively. Through a fifteen year involvement in coaching students on an individual basis using models of learning, cognition, motivation, and individual differences, the authors have developed a series of 30-minute workshop sessions that teach students some fundamental skills that are essential for high performance on exams in a particular course. While the workshop exercises can be adapted for different courses, the authors have found it more convenient to limit participation to students in a targeted course so that applications that are common knowledge to all can be used to illustrate the principles and basic ideas.

The workshop covers process skills that instructors usually take for granted and superior students clearly possess. Just as in music and sports, which require competence in the skills of

Ware, R., & Yokomoto, C. F. (1997, June), Coaching Students Toward Better Learning A Workshop Approach Paper presented at 1997 Annual Conference, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 10.18260/1-2--6455

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