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Expert Study of Engineers Solving Ill-defined Biotransport Problems: Findings to Influence Development of Student Innovation

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Conference

2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016

ISBN

978-0-692-68565-5

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Assessment of Learning in BME

Tagged Division

Biomedical

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

20

DOI

10.18260/p.26838

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/26838

Download Count

96

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Paper Authors

biography

Stephanie Rivale University of Texas, Austin

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Stephanie Rivale is a Research Associate faculty member at the Center for STEM Education at the University of Texas. She received her Ph.D. in STEM Education at the University of Texas. She received her B.S. in Chemical Engineering at the University of Rochester and her M.S. in Chemical Engineering at the University of Colorado. She has collaborated on engineering education research with both the VaNTH Engineering Research Center, UTeachEngineering, and the TEAMS Program at the University of Boulder. Dr. Rivale’s research uses recent advances in our understanding of how people learn to evaluate and improve student learning in college and K-12 engineering classrooms. Her work also focuses on improving access and equity for women and students of color in STEM fields.

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Abstract

IThis study compares engineering expert problem-solving on a highly constrained routine problem and an ill-defined complex problem. The participants (n=7) were recruited from two large public Research I institutions. Using a think aloud methodology, the experts solved both routine and non-routine problems. The protocols were transcribed and coded in Atlas ti. The first round of coding followed a grounded theory methodology, yielding interesting findings. Unprompted, the experts revealed a strong belief that the ill-defined problems are developmentally appropriate for PhD students while routine problems are more appropriate for undergraduate students. Additional rounds of coding were informed by previous problem solving studies in math and engineering. In general, this study confirmed the 5 Step Problem Solving Method used in previous challenged based instruction studies. There were observed differences based on problem type and background knowledge. The routine problem was more automatic and took significantly less time. The experts with higher amounts of background knowledge and experience were more likely to categorize the problems. The level of background knowledge was most apparent in the steps between conducting an overall energy balance and writing more problem specific relationships between the variables. These results are discussed in terms of their implications for improving undergraduate engineering education.

Rivale, S. (2016, June), Expert Study of Engineers Solving Ill-defined Biotransport Problems: Findings to Influence Development of Student Innovation Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26838

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