June 18, 2006
June 18, 2006
June 21, 2006
Educational Research and Methods
11.918.1 - 11.918.14
Measuring Engineering Classroom Community: Learning and Connectedness of Students
The Collaborative Learner-constructed Engineering-concept Articulation and Representation (CLEAR) model was used to explore how the introduction of visually represented materials and the use of blended instruction (i.e., online class sessions, group concept visualization projects, threaded discussions, etc.) impact the sense of community students experience with their peers in the classroom in comparison to a more traditionally taught class. Results reveal that implementation of some of these concepts can result in better retention in a sophomore level chemical engineering course, with student work and course satisfaction at or above the level of those completing a traditional version of the course. The use of online course work was also found to effectively replace some classroom experiences in the blended delivery section. However, an implication of this blended delivery was increased time requirements reported by both faculty and students.
Fewer than 50% of students pursuing engineering degrees actually complete them1. Retention and success of engineering students hinge heavily on their academic performance in “gateway” classes, and all too often these classes are places where students drop out of the engineering pipeline. To solve engineering student learning problems leading to them dropping out of these gateway courses will require adoption of proven educational practices2. Major investments by the National Science Foundation, US Department of Education, and other agencies have been directed at understanding the issues and identifying solutions to student learning. For many, based on the research, students learn best when they set goals for their study, engage in active study, add meaning to what they are learning, explain their understanding to others, and self- monitor their success in achieving goals3-6.
Accepting the challenge to address and understand retention issues of engineering students, the Collaborative Learner-constructed Engineering-concept Articulation and Representation (CLEAR) project has as its goal to develop a model for instructional implementation with core “gateway” engineering classes to significantly improve learning, social development, and sense of community in the classroom for engineering students. Outcomes of the model would be to increase retention of engineering students beyond the core classes through instructional methods using collaboratively developed, learner-constructed visual representations of engineering concepts, with each improving student satisfaction in engineering courses7-9. Steps in this instructional process include the learner-constructed visual representation of course material, presentation of their visualized concepts for peer feedback and discussion, receipt of expert critique to strengthen their understanding and correct misconceptions, and then solidify their understanding through reflective writing. In this paper, we will share with you the pilot study outcomes regarding student learning, retention, and satisfaction based on the implementation of the Collaborative Learner-constructed Engineering-concept Articulation and Representation
Johnson, T., & Miller, R. (2006, June), Measuring Engineering Classroom Community: Learning And Connectedness Of Students Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--267
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