June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 18, 2014
Multidisciplinary Engineering and Liberal Education/Engineering & Society
24.583.1 - 24.583.18
Analyzing Student Sustainability Knowledge using the Structure of Observed Learning Outcomes Taxonomy Although technological innovation may have contributed to current unsustainablepractices, engineering is important for developing and implementing sustainable developmentstrategies. Sustainability engineering has emerged as a new field aimed at integrating andbalancing economic, environmental, and social systems during global development. To properlyguide educational reforms needed to train sustainably-conscious engineers, effective methods areneeded to assess the current status of student sustainability understanding. A study is currently being completed to demonstrate use of the Structure of ObservedLearning Outcomes (SOLO) taxonomy as a basis for simple student sustainability knowledgeassessments. The SOLO taxonomy is a topic-independent, conceptual development schema thatis used for assessment of student understanding of disciplinary topics. Based on work by JeanPiaget, the SOLO taxonomy proposes that students progress linearly though a series of stages(pre-structural, uni-structural, multi-structural, relational, and extended abstract) as theirknowledge matures from beginner to expert. Students enrolled in a Civil and EnvironmentalEngineering (CEE) capstone design course at a large research-intensive university in thesoutheastern United States were asked to “Describe sustainability in [their] own words.” Twoexpert judges are currently classifying student responses according to the SOLO taxonomy toinfer general understanding of the domain of sustainability. Inter-rater reliability will bequantified using Krippendorff’s alpha and insights for other engineering educators looking forrelatively quick measures of sustainability knowledge will be provided.
Watson, M. K., & Pelkey, J., & Rodgers, M. O., & Noyes, C. R. (2014, June), Exploring Student Sustainability Knowledge using the Structure of Observed Learning Outcomes (SOLO) Taxonomy Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20474
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