June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 18, 2014
24.1005.1 - 24.1005.18
Prevalence of Inscriptions in Transportation Engineering Text: Clues to ContextContemporary research in engineering education regarding visual representations focus largelyon student responses to specific applications for delivering inscriptions, such as video ofconstruction processes or three dimensional representations of designed structures. Thisexploratory study approaches the use of inscriptions, which are visual representations embodiedwithin an existing, tangible medium, from a different perspective. The purpose of this study is toprovide insight into contemporary use of inscriptions, such as equations, tables, graphs,diagrams, and photographs, in representing a specific transportation engineering concept (sightdistance) within referential texts utilized in practice, as well as textbooks and course notesutilized in introductory courses for transportation engineering. Past research and theoreticalwork point toward a connection between situated learning and visual representations, noting itsrole in providing social and material context to learning. This study adds to this literature byinvestigating the current use of inscriptions regarding a specific concept utilized withintransportation engineering education. Content analysis is utilized as a methodology in order toexplore two issues regarding inscriptions: relative importance (as reflected by prevalence) ofinscriptions within two different domains (practice and academia) and the degree of abstractnessreflected by inscriptions based on Roth, Shaw, and Tobin’s inscriptional chain. Quantitativevalues are generated in order to represent prevalence and to differentiate between abstract formsof inscriptions. This study revealed that equations, tables, and diagrams appeared equallyprevalent amongst referential texts utilized in practice as well as within textbooks and coursenotes. However, the distribution amongst different types of inscriptions contrasted amongst thethree types of textual resources. The results of the study provide insight into a way in whichengineering educators may introduce contexts that are situated within engineering practice: theadoption of inscriptions that reflect the levels of abstractness of textual resources utilized withinpractice. Further, this exploratory study provides data that may guide further research exploringthe relationship between situated learning, contexts, and inscriptions.
Bornasal, F. B., & Brown, S. A. (2014, June), Prevalence of Inscriptions in Transportation Engineering Text: Clues to Context Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--22938
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