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Is it Rocket Science or Brain Science? Developing an Approach to Measure Engineering Intuition

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Conference

2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count

11

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/37410

Download Count

36

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Paper Authors

biography

Elif Miskioglu Bucknell University

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Dr. Elif Miskioğlu is an early-career engineering education scholar and educator. She holds a B.S. in Chemical Engineering (with Genetics minor) from Iowa State University, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from Ohio State University. Her early Ph.D. work focused on the development of bacterial biosensors capable of screening pesticides for specifically targeting the malaria vector mosquito, Anopheles gambiae. As a result, her diverse background also includes experience in infectious disease and epidemiology, providing crucial exposure to the broader context of engineering problems and their subsequent solutions. These diverse experiences and a growing passion for improving engineering education prompted Dr. Miskioğlu to change her career path and become a scholar of engineering education. As an educator, she is committed to challenging her students to uncover new perspectives and dig deeper into the context of the societal problems engineering is intended to solve. As a scholar, she seeks to not only contribute original theoretical research to the field, but work to bridge the theory-to-practice gap in engineering education by serving as an ambassador for empirically driven, and often novel, educational practices.

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Kaela M. Martin Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University - Prescott

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Kaela Martin is an Associate Professor of Aerospace Engineering at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Prescott Campus. She graduated from Purdue University with a PhD in Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering and is interested in increasing classroom engagement and student learning.

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Adam R. Carberry Arizona State University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-0041-7060

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Dr. Adam Carberry is an associate professor at Arizona State University in the Fulton Schools of Engineering, The Polytechnic School. He earned a B.S. in Materials Science Engineering from Alfred University, and received his M.S. and Ph.D., both from Tufts University, in Chemistry and Engineering Education respectively. His research investigates the development of new classroom innovations, assessment techniques, and identifying new ways to empirically understand how engineering students and educators learn. He currently serves as the Graduate Program Chair for the Engineering Education Systems and Design Ph.D. program. He is also the immediate past chair of the Research in Engineering Education Network (REEN) and an associate editor for the Journal of Engineering Education (JEE). Prior to joining ASU he was a graduate student research assistant at the Tufts’ Center for Engineering Education and Outreach.

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Caroline Bolton Bucknell University

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Caitlyn Aaron

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Abstract

Engineering judgement has become an increasingly more important skill for engineers as engineering problem solving has grown more complex and reliant on technology. Judging the feasibility of solutions is required to solve 21st century problems, making this an essential 21st century engineering skill. Those tasked with preparing the future engineering workforce should avoid educating students to become rote learners who simply take output at face value without critical analysis. Engineering educators need to instead focus efforts toward developing students with improved engineering judgement, specifically engineering intuition. The project is focused on the following four research questions: 1) What are practicing professional engineers’ perceptions of discipline specific intuition and its use in the workplace? 2) Where does intuition manifest in expert engineer decision-making and problem-solving processes? 3) How does the motivation and identity of practicing professional engineers relate to discipline-specific intuition? 4) What would an instrument designed to validly and reliably measure engineering intuition look like? The idea or notion of engineering intuition is based in literature from nursing (Smith) and management (Simon) and links expert development to intuition (Dreyfus). This literature is used to support the hypothesis that engineering intuition is defined as the ability to: 1) assess whether engineering solutions are reasonable or ridiculous, and 2) predict outcomes and/or options within an engineering scenario. We seek to answer research questions 1-3 using interviews with engineering practitioners at various stages in their careers (early to retired). These interviews will allow us to construct a modified definition of engineering intuition and identify related constructs. These results will be leveraged to subsequently create an instrument to reliably measure intuition. The ultimate goal of this project is to use what is learned via research to create classroom practices that improve students’ ability to develop, recognize, and improve their own engineering intuition. Select References: Dreyfus, Stuart E., and Hubert L. Dreyfus. A five-stage model of the mental activities involved in directed skill acquisition. No. ORC-80-2. California Univ Berkeley Operations Research Center, 1980. Smith, Anita. "Exploring the legitimacy of intuition as a form of nursing knowledge." Nursing Standard (through 2013) 23.40 (2009): 35. Simon, Herbert A. "Making management decisions: The role of intuition and emotion." Academy of Management Perspectives 1.1 (1987): 57-64.

Miskioglu, E., & Martin, K. M., & Carberry, A. R., & Bolton, C., & Aaron, C. (2021, July), Is it Rocket Science or Brain Science? Developing an Approach to Measure Engineering Intuition Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/37410

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