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Models and Modeling in Upper Division Classrooms: Impacting Conceptual Understanding and the Professional Skills

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Conference

2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Model Eliciting Activities

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Page Count

10

Page Numbers

25.946.1 - 25.946.10

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/21703

Download Count

23

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Paper Authors

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Mary E. Besterfield-Sacre University of Pittsburgh

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Mary Besterfield-Sacre is an Associate Professor and Fulton C. Noss Faculty Fellow in industrial engineering. She is the Director for the new Engineering Education Research Center (EERC) in the Swanson School of Engineering, and serves as a Center Associate for the Learning Research and Development Center at the University of Pittsburgh. Her principal research is in engineering assessment, which has been funded by the NSF, Department of Education, Sloan Foundation, Engineering Information Foundation, and the NCIIA. Besterfield-Sacre’s current research focuses on three distinct but highly correlated areas pf innovative design, entrepreneurship, and modeling. She is an Associate Editor for the AEE Journal.

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Brian P. Self California Polytechnic State University

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Brian P. Self obtained his B.S. and M.S. degrees in engineering mechanics from Virginia Tech and his Ph.D. in bioengineering from the University of Utah. He worked in the Air Force Research Laboratories before teaching at the U.S. Air Force Academy for seven years. Self has taught in the Mechanical Engineering Department at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo, since 2006. During the 2011-2012 academic year, he participated in a professor exchange, teaching at the Munich University of Applied Sciences. His engineering education interests include collaborating on the Dynamics Concept Inventory, developing model-eliciting activities in mechanical engineering courses, inquiry-based learning in mechanics, and design projects to help promote adapted physical activities. Other professional interests include aviation physiology and biomechanics.

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Larry J. Shuman University of Pittsburgh Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/https://0000-0001-6884-7070

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Larry J. Shuman is Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and professor of industrial engineering at the Swanson School of Engineering, University of Pittsburgh. His research focuses on improving the engineering education experience with an emphasis on assessment of design and problem-solving, and the study of the ethical behavior of engineers and engineering managers. A former Senior Editor of the Journal of Engineering Education, Shuman is the Founding Editor of Advances in Engineering Education. He has published widely in engineering education literature, and is co-author of Engineering Ethics: Balancing Cost, Schedule and Risk - Lessons Learned from the Space Shuttle (Cambridge University Press). He received his Ph.D. from the Johns Hopkins University in operations research and a B.S.E.E. from the University of Cincinnati. Shuman is an ASEE Fellow.

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John Anthony Christ U.S. Air Force Academy

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Ronald L. Miller Colorado School of Mines

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Ronald L. Miller is a professor of chemical engineering and Director of the Center for Engineering Education at the Colorado School of Mines, where he has taught chemical engineering and interdisciplinary courses and conducted engineering education research for the past 26 years. Miller has received three university-wide teaching awards and has held a Jenni teaching fellowship at CSM. He has received grant awards for education research from the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education FIPSE program, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Colorado Commission on Higher Education and has published widely in engineering education literature. His research interests include measuring and repairing engineering student misconceptions in thermal and transport science.

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Tamara J. Moore University of Minnesota, Twin Cities Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-7956-4479

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Tamara J. Moore is the Co-director of the University of Minnesota’s STEM Education Center and an Assistant Professor of mathematics and engineering education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction. Her research is centered on the integration of STEM concepts in K-12 and higher education mathematics and engineering classrooms. Her research agenda focuses on models and modeling as a curricular approach and working with educators to shift their expectations and instructional practice to facilitate effective STEM integration.

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Abstract

Models and Modeling in Upper Division Classrooms: Impacting Conceptual Understanding and the Professional SkillsFollowing their development by K12 mathematics educators, MEAs were first introduced intofreshmen engineering. This paper describes the migration of the MEA construct from freshmanengineering into upper division engineering courses, specifically: chemical, civil, electrical, in-dustrial, and mechanical engineering fields. During this migration, the MEA construct was ex-panded to introduce laboratory, conceptual and ethical components. In doing so, students areforced to confront and repair certain misconceptions acquired at earlier stages of their educa-tion, to utilize laboratory experiments to gather additional data, and to recognize and then re-solve ethical issues. The use of open-ended MEAs has also occasionally elicited modeling mis-conceptions that had not been identified by the research team. Concomitantly, MEAs were in-itially intended to expand students’ understanding of particular mathematics and engineeringconcepts; however, we have learned through development, implementation, and testing thatMEAs are actually an effective way to influence and assess students’ acquisition of several pro-fessional skills including: problem solving, teamwork, ethical understanding, and communica-tions. Hence, much of the work we have done has been to focus on models and modeling as anintegrating approach for learning particular professional skills within the undergraduate curricu-lum. By extending the MEA construct to ethical and laboratory domains, student teams mustalso integrate prior knowledge and concepts in order to solve the problem at hand.

Besterfield-Sacre, M. E., & Self, B. P., & Shuman, L. J., & Christ, J. A., & Miller, R. L., & Moore, T. J. (2012, June), Models and Modeling in Upper Division Classrooms: Impacting Conceptual Understanding and the Professional Skills Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. https://peer.asee.org/21703

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