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Guided Reflection

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

A Systems-Thinking Approach to Solving Problems

Tagged Division

Systems Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.763.1 - 22.763.12

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Paper Authors


Ronald C. Rosenberg Michigan State University

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Associate Dean for Special Initiatives and Associate Director, Applied Engineering Sciences Program, College of Engineering, Michigan State University. Long-term interest in modeling and simulation of engineering and ecological systems. Co-author of two texts on systems dynamics primarily intended for mechanical, electrical and control engineers. Strong interest in effective methods for teaching systems concepts to broad audiences.

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Jon Sticklen Michigan State University

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Jon Sticklen is the Director of the Center for Engineering Education Research at Michigan State University. Dr. Sticklen is also Director of Applied Engineering Sciences, an undergraduate bachelor of science degree program in the MSU College of Engineering. He also is an Associate Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering. Dr. Sticklen has lead a laboratory in knowledge-based systems focused on task specific approaches to problem solving. Over the last decade, Dr. Sticklen has pursued engineering education research focused on early engineering; his current research is supported by NSF/DUE and NSF/CISE.

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To: Systems Engineering Constituent CommitteePapers can address general topics such as:- perspectives on the development and education of systems thinking at all levels;- the role of systems engineering in solving the Grand Challenges of the 21st century including systems engineering, life-cycle analysis, and sustainability education; GUIDED REFLECTION: Impact on Student and Instructor Learning Ron Rosenberg, Associate Dean for Special Initiatives Jon Sticklen, Director, Applied Engineering Sciences Program College of Engineering, Michigan State University AbstractThe course Global Systems: Economics, Engineering and the Environment (EGR210) has severalorthogonal goals. These are: (1) to increase each student’s awareness and understanding of the complexprocess of globalization, (2) to increase each student’s ability to communicate to a group effectively, and(3) to increase each student’s motivation to become (more) involved with sustainability issues. The courseis offered as a sophomore requirement for Applied Engineering Sciences majors but is open to allundergraduates other than freshmen. In order to measure success in achieving the course goals three typesof assessment tools are used. To assess content awareness and understanding conventional writtenexaminations are given. To assess communication improvement videos are made of all studentpresentations (eleven in all: solo, in two-person teams, and in four-person teams, with times ranging fromtwo to twenty minutes). Each student has the responsibility to review the relevant video data and assessher or his own improvement in communicating. To assess change in motivation each student must submita self-assessment report at the end of the course, which provides an opportunity for reflection aboutgrowth with respect to several issues. The self-report guidelines are designed to permit each student toexpress herself or himself in as unconstrained a way as possible. The use of such a self-assessment toolreinforces the intent of the course, as initially stated to the students, to stimulate the maximum learningand growth on the part of each one of them, rather than norm them with respect to a set of fixed standards.(Of course, facts are still facts about economics, engineering, and the environment.)The assessment report data point to significant growth with respect to course goals for most students.Furthermore, the data give the instructors insight into ways to improve the course experience for studentsat subsequent offerings. The instructors view the course as successful in achieving its goals and anticipateits continued improvement.

Rosenberg, R. C., & Sticklen, J. (2011, June), Guided Reflection Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC.

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