June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
22.405.1 - 22.405.8
CU Thinking: Problem-Solving Strategies RevealedIn order to analyze engineering students’ problem-solving strategies, we are collecting workcompleted on Tablet PCs and analyzing the digital ink using “tags” to identify events of interestusing custom-designed software called MuseInk. The work collected includes problems in a firstyear engineering course specifically selected for their level of complexity, potential for multipleapproaches or representations, and the level of structure and/or definition provided. A “TagUniverse,” a database of procedural events, errors, and other items of interest, has beendeveloped to tag relevant events within student work. The Tag Universe is organized intocategories based on a theoretical framework of process activities used during problem solving:knowledge access, knowledge generation and self-management. Tags include items such assketching the problem, identifying known and unknown values, manipulating an equation tosolve for a desired variable, and checking the reasonableness of a solution. In addition, studenterrors are categorized (conceptual, procedural, and mechanical), and students’ recognition oftheir errors are being analyzed based on signal detection theory. This identifies “hits” (studentmakes an error and self-corrects), “misses” (student makes an error and does not recognize it)and “false alarms” (student second-guesses a correct approach). MuseInk also allows theinsertion of audio tags to document students’ verbal commentaries about what they werethinking when specific events occurred.One of three problem sets has been tagged by our research team, and inter-rater reliabilityanalysis was conducted to ensure consistent tagging. Tag data (written and verbal) are beinganalyzed in terms of relationships between tag categories and students’ academic backgroundsand prior knowledge about engineering. We are beginning to define criteria for structuringproblems to allow students from a broad array of prior educational experiences and academicpreparation to develop effective and transferrable problem-solving skills.While our methods are evolving which use MuseInk as a research tool, we are also consideringhow the software is being used as an instructional tool. A user survey was implemented toidentify ways to increase benefits to students using MuseInk. Activities using MuseInk bothinside and outside the classroom are being developed based on survey data, such as tutorials andpeer feedback.
Benson, L., & Grigg, S. J., & Bowman, D. R., & Cook, M., & Pargas, R. P. (2011, June), CU Thinking: Problem-Solving Strategies Revealed Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--17686
ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2011 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015