June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
Educational Research and Methods
22.812.1 - 22.812.21
The Effect of Differentiated Activities on Engineering Students’ LearningThere has been a recent interest for the effectiveness of in-class activities on students’ learning inengineering education. However, the literature treats in-class activities as a single construct, aseither “passive” or “active”. However, Chi has differentiated “active” activities into three types-- active-constructive-interactive, based on their overt activities. Moreover, a hypothesis thatinteractive activities may be more effective than constructive, and constructive more effectivethan active, is generated based on the unique cognitive processes associated with each type ofactivity. In this study, we developed in-class activities for an introductory materials science andengineering class based on Chi’s framework. We have generated eight activities in total; threeactive, two constructive and eight interactive. In active activities, students are asked tomanipulate the learning materials in some way. For example, in one of the active activities,students are asked to match the most likely property, material, bonding, and processes formotorcycle parts. Students are asked to choose these options from a given list of property,material, bonding and processes. In an active activity, the cognitive expectation is that studentswill pay attention to the learning materials, activate existing knowledge, search existingknowledge, assimilate, encode, or store new information. In constructive activities, students areasked to create something new that is not in the learning materials. For example, in one of theconstructive activities, students are asked both to draw crystallographic planes based on thegiven Miller indices, and determine the Miller indices based on the drawn planes. The cognitiveexpectation of a constructive process is that students will infer new knowledge, integrate newknowledge with existing knowledge, or restructure own knowledge individually. Lastly, ininteractive activities, students are asked to work in teams or small groups. For instance, in one ofour interactive activities, students in small groups are asked to construct a structured conceptmap about bonding and justify their reasoning for all the related concepts. The expectedcognitive outcome is that they may jointly create processes, construct new knowledgecollaboratively, or to generate ideas beyond one can do individually.For each activity, we generated four quiz questions to measure students’ learning after they haveundertaken a given activity. Two questions are multiple-choice two are open-ended. The firstquestion of each quiz is a verbatim type multiple choice question, the second question is aknowledge inference type open-ended question, the third question is a comprehension inferencetype question, and the fourth question is a knowledge inference type question. The questioncategories represent the different levels of complexity and/or taxonomy.The implementation of this study has been carried out during September 2010. Approximately,40 materials science and engineering students participated to this study. The preliminary resultsshowed that: (1) Students did significantly better on questions related to interactive activitiesthan they did for the active activities, (2) students did significantly better on questions related toconstructive activities than they did for the active activities, (3) and students performed better onmore difficult questions related to interactive activities than they did for constructive activities.Overall, the preliminary results provide promising findings for the predicted relativeeffectiveness of the various active-constructive-and-interactive activities in engineeringeducation.
Menekse, M., & Stump, G., & Krause, S. J., & Chi, M. T. (2011, June), Implementation of Differentiated Active-Constructive-Interactive Activities in an Engineering Classroom Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18093
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