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Learning Trajectories Through Learning Making and Engineering, and Implications

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


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

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Micah Lande South Dakota School of Mines and Technology

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Micah Lande, Ph.D. is an Assistant Professor and E.R. Stensaas Chair for Engineering Education in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology. He teaches human-centered engineering design, design thinking, and design innovation courses. Dr. Lande researches how technical and non-technical people learn and apply design thinking and making processes to their work. He is interested in the intersection of designerly epistemic identities and vocational pathways. Dr. Lande received his B.S. in Engineering (Product Design), M.A. in Education (Learning, Design and Technology) and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering (Design Education) from Stanford University.

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This NSF funded EAGER research project investigates how undergraduate STEM and engineering students’ learning trajectories evolve over time, from 1st to senior year, along a novice to expert spectrum. We borrow the idea of “learning trajectories” from mathematics education that can paint the evolution of students’ knowledge and skills over time over a set of learning experiences. Curricula for undergraduate engineering programs can reflect an intended pathway of knowledge construction within a discipline. We intend our study of individual students within undergraduate STEM and engineering programs can highlight how this may happen in situ and how it may be similar or might differ from a given, prescribed programs of study among disciplines.

We use a theoretical framework based in adaptive expertise and design thinking adaptive expertise to develop a design learning continuum further. Envisioned routes through disciplinary undergraduate curricula and student conceptions of their design process are explored through qualitative, semi-structured interviews with undergraduate 1st year and senior year students across STEM, engineering and non-STEM fields. We also conduct similar interviews with faculty in these fields who are responsible and knowledgeable for undergraduate programs about their perceived benefits for the structure of their program’s curriculum. Additional information is collected from noticing the organizational and pedagogical structures of the relative undergraduate curriculum.

Initial findings suggest that traditions to knowledge construction both differ across disciplinary approaches and have similarities across non-obvious disciplinary relationships. Faculty have a firm understanding of how one class chains from one to another; students have less of a field of view for how mindful chunks of knowledge combine together.

Lande, M. (2021, July), Learning Trajectories Through Learning Making and Engineering, and Implications Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference.

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