Virtual On line
June 22, 2020
June 22, 2020
June 26, 2021
Educational Research and Methods
This research paper presents a study of students making assumptions and discretizing elements when solving an open-ended modeling problem (OEMP) in a sophomore-level statics class. OEMPs are homework problems with no single correct answer that ask students to mathematically model a real-world object. Our analysis focuses on two elements of engineering judgement: making assumptions and discretizing elements. We found some students made assumptions to model the real-world object as closely as possible, while other students made assumptions to create a simpler mathematical model. Furthermore, students did not always justify their decisions completely or clearly. Implications of our work include revising the OEMP prompt to engage students in more authentic assumption making and continuing to assign open-ended problems to give students experience with engineering judgement, thereby better preparing them for their professional engineering careers.
Swenson, J. E. S., & Johnson, A. W., & Rola, M., & Koushyar, H. (2020, June), Making Assumptions and Making Models on Open-ended Homework Problems Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34940
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