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Developing Metacognitive Engineering Teams Through Targeted Writing Exercises And Studying Learning Preferences

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Emerging Trends in Engineering Education Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.442.1 - 11.442.13



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Paper Authors


Kevin Dahm Rowan University

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Kevin Dahm is an Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering at Rowan University. He received his Ph.D. from MIT and his B.S. from WPI. Among his areas of interest are computing and process simulation in the curriculum, and integrating economics and design throughout the curriculum. He has received the 2005 Ray Fahien Award, 2003 Joseph J. Martin Award and the 2002 PIC-III Award from ASEE.

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Roberta Harvey Rowan University

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Roberta Harvey is an Assistant Professor in the Writing Arts Department at Rowan University. She holds a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee and team-teaches the innovative multidisciplinary design and composition Sophomore Clinic course at Rowan. She is certified to administer and interpret LCI surveys.

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Brian Lefebvre Rowan University

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Brian G. Lefebvre is an Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering at Rowan University. He received his B.E. from the University of Minnesota in 1997 and his Ph.D. from the University of Delaware in 2002. Prior to joining Rowan, he performed postdoctoral research in protein structural biology at the University of Pennsylvania. His primary teaching interest is integrating biochemical and biomolecular engineering in the engineering curriculum.

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Heidi Newell Rowan University

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Heidi Newell is currently the assessment coordinator for the College of Engineering at Rowan University. She previously served as the assessment consultant for the University of North Dakota. She hold a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership from the University of North Dakota, a M.S. in Industrial and Organizational Psychology from Clemson, and a B. A. in Sociology from Bloomsburg University.

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James Newell Rowan University

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Jim Newell is a Professor of Chemical Engineering at Rowan University. He has won the Ray Fahien award from ASEE for contributions to engineering education and a Dow Outstanding New Faculty Award. His research interests include high performance polymers, rubric development and forming metacognitive engineering teams.

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

Impact of Structured Writing and Awareness of Cognition on Effective Teaming

Abstract Metacognition is the awareness and understanding by a student of his or her own learning own skills, performance, preferences, and barriers. This paper describes a pilot scale effort to develop metacognition in engineering teams at Rowan University through structured writing and the use of the Learning Connections Inventory (LCI). The theoretical basis for the LCI is the Interactive Learning Model, which proposes that learning processes occur through four distinct learning patterns: sequential, precise, technical, and confluent. The LCI was used to profile the learning style of each student in the Rowan Chemical Engineering department.

During the Fall Semester of 2004, engineering teams in the Junior/Senior Engineering Clinics were broken into four categories. Category I teams received instruction in use of the LCI and met with a facilitator and their teammates to examine their LCI profiles. In this meeting, potential areas for future conflict were discussed and the teams developed strategies to avoid these conflicts. Category II teams received no LCI instruction but participated in a series of structured writing assignments designed to enhance their awareness of teaming. These assignments included developing and ratifying a team charter and submitting biweekly reports on barriers to success and team dynamics. Category III teams received both the LCI training and participated in the structured writing assignments, while Category IV teams served as a control and participated in none of the activities.

At the beginning of the semester, each person was surveyed to determine their perception of their teaming skills, their opinion of teams, and their level of interest in learning about teaming. The participants were surveyed again at the end of the semester and were also asked to evaluate the usefulness of the strategies. In addition, final project reports were collected and evaluated using a system of rubrics in order to assess the impact of these activities on team performance. The data indicate that the students receiving LCI instruction (with or without the targeted writing exercises) both performed better, and had better attitudes towards teaming, than did the students receiving no LCI training. There was also some indication that the targeted writing exercises were beneficial but these results were less conclusive.

Background and Pedagogical Theory Behavioral scientists classify thought processes into cognitive and affective domains1. The cognitive domain includes higher order thought processes such as logic and reasoning and is the primary (and in many cases, the only) target of engineering curricula. The affective domain includes attitudes, values, and self-concept. These attributes typically cannot be measured directly through exams and other classroom instruments, yet they are essential components of the overall developmental process.

ABET itself recognizes the importance of the affective domain by including criteria in their assessment of engineering programs such as “engages in lifelong learning,” “understands the

Proceedings of the 2006 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2006, American Society for Engineering Education

Dahm, K., & Harvey, R., & Lefebvre, B., & Newell, H., & Newell, J. (2006, June), Developing Metacognitive Engineering Teams Through Targeted Writing Exercises And Studying Learning Preferences Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--501

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: © 2006 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