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Preservice Teachers Noticing About Discussions to Support Students in Revising their Design Ideas (RTP)

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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

Pre-College Engineering Education Division Technical Session 6

Tagged Division

Pre-College Engineering Education

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Paper Authors


Pamela S. Lottero-Perdue Towson University

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Pamela S. Lottero-Perdue, Ph.D., is Professor of Science and Engineering Education in the Department of Physics, Astronomy, and Geosciences at Towson University. She has integrated engineering into courses for PreK-8 teacher candidates, developed and directed a graduate STEM program for PreK-6 teachers, and partnered with teachers to implement PreK-8 engineering learning experiences. She has authored numerous engineering-focused teacher practitioner articles, chapters, and research articles, and presents her research regularly through American Society for Engineering Education Pre-College Engineering Education Division, a division she has chaired. Her current research includes investigating how K-5 students experience design failure and engage in redesign; how simulated classroom environments can be used to help pre-service and in-service teachers practice facilitating argumentation discussions in science and engineering; and how close analysis of student work samples and classroom discussion transcripts can support pre-service teachers' learning to notice.

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Manuel Alejandro Figueroa The College of New Jersey

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Dr. Manuel Figueroa is an Associate Professor and chair of the Department of Integrative STEM Education at The College of New Jersey. In his role, he prepares pre-service teachers to become K-12 technology and engineering educators. His research involves engaging college students in human centered design and improving creativity. He also develops biotechnology and nanotechnology inspired lessons that naturally integrate the STEM disciplines. He received his PhD in biomedical engineering from Drexel University and was an NSF Graduate STEM Fellow in K-12 Education (GK-12).

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Jamie N. Mikeska Educational Testing Service

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Jamie Mikeska is a Research Scientist in the Student and Teacher Research Center at Educational Testing Service (ETS). Jamie completed her Ph.D. in the Curriculum, Teaching, and Educational Policy graduate program at Michigan State University in 2010. Her current research focuses on three key areas: (1) designing, developing, and conducting validation studies on assessments of content knowledge for teaching (CKT) science; (2) examining and understanding validity issues associated with measures designed to assess science teachers’ instructional quality, including observational measures, value-added measures, student surveys, and performance-based tasks; and (3) extending and studying the use of these knowledge and instructional practices measures of science teaching quality as summative assessment tools for licensure purposes and as formative assessment tools integrated within teacher education and professional development contexts. She currently serves as principal investigator on four National Science Foundation (NSF) research projects. One study (NSF #1621344) is designed to develop, pilot, and validate a set of performance-based tasks delivered within a simulated classroom environment in order to improve pre-service elementary teachers’ ability to facilitate goal-oriented discussions in science and mathematics. Prior to graduate school, she taught elementary school for five years in Montgomery County, MD and earned her National Board certification during her tenure as a public school teacher.

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Matthew S. Taylor The College of New Jersey

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Noticing is an essential teaching practice that involves identifying salient aspects of classroom interactions, connecting those aspects to broader teaching principles, and using them to inform future instruction. Preservice teachers (PSTs) can develop their noticing practice by analyzing classroom teaching episodes. In this paper, we examine outcomes from using a series of activities—the Transcript Coding Assignment, a synchronous whole-class discussion, and an Identifying Strategies Assignment—to develop PSTs’ noticing practice within engineering education coursework. Activities were related to two 25-minute, video-recorded and transcribed discussions facilitated by two veteran teachers. These discussions were facilitated after students tested their initial designs and before they formally planned their second designs. These post-testing discussions were products of a prior study in which each teacher facilitated a small group discussion with five student avatars to support the students in working collaboratively to critique and revise each team’s initial ideas about design performance and improvement.

We focus on three features of these discussions, i.e., how teachers encourage students to: (1) engage with other teams about their designs, (2) talk about constraints, and (3) talk about criteria. We ask: What teacher prompts, questions, contributions, and strategies do PSTs notice with respect to each of these features within teachers’ discussions? We explored this question within two engineering education courses at two respective college institutions; 14 PSTs across those courses participated in the study. Data collected were PSTs’ independent coding of one teacher’s discussion transcript (the other was coded for the PSTs); a transcript of the synchronous class discussion within each course about what PSTs noticed about how the teachers addressed each feature; and PSTs’ written reflections about strategies these teachers used with respect to each feature.

Findings suggest that while most PSTs were able to notice two thirds or more of the instances of each feature in the teacher’s discussion transcript, they also associated non-examples with each feature (i.e., “over-coding” for the feature). Most especially, participants over-coded instances for Feature 1, linking many quotes to this feature even though the quotes did not encourage students to engage other teams about their designs; this finding was also evident in the synchronous discussion. In the Identifying Strategies assignment, PSTs collectively identified a total of 15 strategies that the teachers used with respect to the three features. The most frequently mentioned strategies for each feature were: having students call on a peer for critique or feedback (Feature 1), posing questions about whether constraints were met (Feature 2), and posing questions to particular students or teams about a criterion (Feature 3). Overall, the findings suggest that the assignments support PSTs in identifying prompts, questions, contributions, and strategies used by teachers in post-testing engineering discussions. However, more instructional attention may be necessary to help PSTs develop their ability to notice when and how teachers engage students in discussion with one another about their designs.

Lottero-Perdue, P. S., & Figueroa, M. A., & Mikeska, J. N., & Taylor, M. S. (2021, July), Preservice Teachers Noticing About Discussions to Support Students in Revising their Design Ideas (RTP) Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference.

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2021 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015