June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
NSF Grantees Poster Session
26.398.1 - 26.398.13
Constructionist Learning for Environmentally Responsible Product DesignXXX University, XXX University, and XXX University are developing a distributedcyberlearning environment to facilitate the consideration of different human controlled/initiatedimpacts on the natural environment through team-based and personalized design activities. Thisinteractive learning environment, Constructionism in Learning: Sustainable Life CycleEngineering (CooL:SLiCE), supports a constructionist line of inquiry within design practice toenable students to attain a deeper conceptual understanding. Constructionism, an expansion ofconstructivist learning theory, is a term coined by Seymour Papert to depict “learning by making.”Constructionism is concerned with learners’ engagement in building personally meaningfulartifacts and their related creative and re-creative activities that represent the developmentalcycle. Recognizing that learners are involved in complex activities that require thinking,reflecting, and interpretation of the same reality, complex education design (CED) will be usedto design the proper learning framework.The envisioned learning environment will provide sustainable life cycle engineering knowledgefor personalized design activities. Given that human/consumer behavior related to sustainabilityis complex, this project seeks to study facets of “sustainable product design complexity”(including components, interconnections, and functionality) and “educational design complexity”(from the constructionist learning approach with its three epistemological principles ofcomplexity, instability, and inter-subjectivity). Sustainable product design complexity has multi-dimensional implications for a designer’s choices due to the difficulty of assessing consumerattitudes toward sustainability and understanding how consumer behavior coincides withattitudes. Students face similar challenges in learning contexts as sustainability itself is acomplex domain with multiple technical disciplines (components), interactions among them(interconnections), and purposeful uses (functionality). Within a sustainability learning context,some students need more support, while others thrive on autonomy. In accord with aconstructionist approach, CooL:SLiCE aims to allow customization to facilitate students’learning needs.This paper focuses on assessing sustainable product design complexity and educational designcomplexity to support the constructionist learning method. In this work, we hypothesize thatdifferences in the level of needed autonomy exist between first year undergraduate learners andupper classmen, and that the developed CooL:SLiCE environment can moderate thesedifferences. The eventual goal is to use assessment items developed from this study to test theappropriateness of the CooL:SLiCE framework (e.g., for the effectiveness of constructedknowledge in deep learning, the impacts of different autonomy levels on student learning, andlearners’ engagement). Finally, this research discusses how the assessment items can explain therelationship between constructionist learning and deep learning for environmentally responsibleproduct design.
Kim, K., & Psenka, C. E., & Jackson, K. S., & Haapala, K. R. (2015, June), Constructionist Learning for Environmentally Responsible Product Design Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23737
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