June 23, 2013
June 23, 2013
June 26, 2013
Division Experimentation & Lab-Oriented Studies
23.434.1 - 23.434.15
Development of Verification and Validation Engineering Design Skills through a Multi-year Cognitive Apprenticeship Laboratory ExperienceVerification and validation are vital steps in the engineering design process. Designing,implementing, and evaluating testing protocols demonstrates the effectiveness of a designsolution. Unfortunately, designing sufficient testing protocols is challenging for most students,even at the capstone design level. Most laboratory experiences follow a traditional format inwhich step-by-step procedures are presented. This cookbook approach reduces responsibility tocompletely understand the underlying mechanism, testing process, and analysis. To develop andenhance verification and validation skills, we implemented a cognitive apprenticeship verticallywithin undergraduate biomedical engineering laboratory courses offered at the sophomore,junior, and senior level1.To facilitate the vertical skill training and development process, two modules offered in thesophomore and junior laboratories introduce students to foundational components in experimentdesign such as, dependent and independent variables, randomization, data analysis, repeatability,block designs, and controlling for confounding factors.Beginning sophomore year, students are engaged in developing experimental design skillsthrough a tiered challenge model wherein instructors’ participation is focused on the modelingand coaching components of cognitive apprenticeship. This model gradually introduces andbuilds concept knowledge from basic to complex over 2 – 3 laboratories. In this process, studentsfirst learn a basic set of skills through a traditional laboratory experience. This is followed by alaboratory experience that showcases how the previously learned basic skills can be integratedinto a larger experimental design thereby reinforcing the learned skills. This cycle is concludedwith a challenge experience in which the learned skills must be deconstructed and reorganized tosolve an open-ended problem.In the junior year, students develop further responsibility in creating experimental design planswherein instructors’ participation is focused on the scaffolding and fading components ofcognitive apprenticeship. In this process, students develop an experimental design to addressopen-ended biotransport problems, design and perform associated experiments, and analyzeresults. Students are responsible for identifying factors and adequate testing methods to addressthe transport problem while instructors provide feedback and guidance, but do not direct theexperiment process.At the senior design capstone level, students assume complete responsibility for an entire projectwith verification and validation tests expected to demonstrate their solution meets the designconstraints and user needs. In this stage, students work from vetting a problem to generating aworking prototype. Instructor participation is focused upon the fading phase of cognitiveapprenticeship. However, instructors may need to revert to coaching and scaffolding phases.The vertical implementation of cognitive apprenticeship in a laboratory setting is a usefullearning strategy to prepare students for the testing aspects of the engineering design process.1 Collins, A., Brown, J.S., & Newman, S.E. (1989). Cognitive apprenticeship: Teaching the craftof reading, writing, and mathematics, Knowing Learning and Instructions Essays in Honor ofRobert Glaser, 8, 453-494.
Sieving, A. L., & Pool, M., & Eustaquio, T., & Madangopal, R., & Panitch, A., & Stuart, K., & Rundell, A. E., & Jewett, S. A. (2013, June), Development of Verification and Validation Engineering Design Skills through a Multi-year Cognitive Apprenticeship Laboratory Experience Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--19448
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