New Orleans, Louisiana
June 26, 2016
June 26, 2016
August 28, 2016
Educational Research and Methods
This paper reports on a set of assessment methods and instruments being developed as part of a larger agenda to research, develop and institutionalize participatory and inclusive STEM-learning experiences through apprenticeships in sustainable engineering and design. The authors have been investigating and testing educational strategies to incentivize the legitimate participation of youth that would otherwise be considered “STEM-outsiders” in selected STEM-linked sustainable design projects moving forward in their local community. More specifically, this research explores the efficacy of apprenticeship (a.k.a. legitimate peripheral participation) through digital-storytelling as a possible alternative to more familiar “hands-on” apprenticeship models. We present several assessment instruments, developed in alignment with socio-cultural theories of situated cognition and more specifically, with Jeanne Lave and Etienne Wenger’s analytic framework for understanding apprenticeship learning through the lens of legitimate peripheral participation. Illustrative examples of the kinds of data that can be generated using these pilot instruments are taken from the results of a pilot case study. The pilot program at the center of this study offers two alternative possibilities for youth to apprentice with interdisciplinary teams of undergraduates and local professionals working collaboratively to innovate, design, implement and validate sustainable technologies and systems in their surrounding community. Opportunities for youth to get involved in the production of “digital stories” narrating the challenges, outcomes and local impacts of these projects serve as an alternative to a parallel, hands-on, “design-and-build” apprenticeship track. Compilations of sequential audio recordings, archived as online “audio-diaries”, are analyzed for evidence of changes in the youths’ involvement in these projects and their related abilities to productively participate in problem-definition and problem-solving activities. These data are compared with on-site observations and data collected from focus group exit interviews. Methods used in the pilot study to generate and assess evidence of participants’ overall understanding of the problems or issues motivating a specific sustainable engineering project, their ability to formulate and articulate valid problem statements are also discussed. Two new instruments are proposed: a new third-party observation instrument and an adaptation of the protocol for eliciting and analyzing audio-diary entries used during the pilot. Both instruments are designed to monitor and correlate changes in participation and membership over time with evidence of developments in formal cognitive reasoning processes recognized as important to the practice of engineering-design.
Ball, T., & Beckett, L. K., & Isaacson, M. S. (2016, June), From Peripheral to Full Participation: Implications of Learning Theory for Educational Design and Learning Assessment in STEM Apprenticeships Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26974
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: © 2016 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