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Productive Disciplinary Engagement in Complex STEM Learning Environments

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Conference

2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015

ISBN

978-0-692-50180-1

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

NSF Grantees’ Poster Session

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count

12

Page Numbers

26.1258.1 - 26.1258.12

DOI

10.18260/p.24595

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/24595

Download Count

45

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Paper Authors

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Milo Koretsky Oregon State University

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Milo Koretsky is a Professor of Chemical Engineering at Oregon State University. He received his B.S. and M.S. degrees from UC San Diego and his Ph.D. from UC Berkeley, all in Chemical Engineering. He currently has research activity in areas related engineering education and is interested in integrating technology into effective educational practices and in promoting the use of higher-level cognitive skills in engineering problem solving. His research interests particularly focus on what prevents students from being able to integrate and extend the knowledge developed in specific courses in the core curriculum to the more complex, authentic problems and projects they face as professionals. Dr. Koretsky is one of the founding members of the Center for Lifelong STEM Education Research at OSU.

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Susan Bobbitt Nolen University of Washington

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Professor of Learning Sciences & Human Development

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Simone E Volet Murdoch University, Perth, Australia

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Simone Volet is Professor of Educational Psychology at Murdoch University in Perth, Australia. She obtained a Licence ès Sciences de l’Education at the University of Geneva, and a PhD from Murdoch University. She has been engaged in research on learning, motivation and cultural issues in higher education since the early 1990s and has led many major projects funded by the Australian Research Council and the Australian National Training Authority. Her research combines situative and socio-cognitive approaches to understand high-level cognitive and metacognitive engagement, and social regulation in real time collaborative learning. Her work has involved the development of new ways of analyzing metacognitive co-regulation, and has led to the design of field interventions that foster university students’ deep-level engagement in collaborative learning in several fields of STEM education.

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Marja M.S. Vauras University of Turku

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Marja Vauras, PhD, Professor in Education (teaching and learning), Dept. of Teacher Ed., and Dean, Faculty of Education, University of Turku. Her research field is developmental and educational psychology, particularly: the longitudinal development and interplay of cognition, motivation and metacognition, as well as social well-being and social competence, and CSL in remediation, educational interventions and learning environments. Her work has long been focused on sub-performing students, who experience multiple cognitive and motivational problems in school, with the emphasis on interactive, long-term development of cognition and motivation in social interaction. Her research aims at expanding the analysis on complex developmental - learning-related - interactions between cognitive and metacognitive competence, motivation, emotion and social interaction. She is further studying the role of both school- and family-related, social factors contributing to learning and motivational-emotional processes, particularly, in relation to learning difficulties as well as excellence in learning. Her recent work focuses on teacher scaffolding and interpersonal regulation of learning and motivation of students in different domains (reading, mathematics, natural sciences, and veterinary sciences) at different educational levels (early education, primary and high school, university) and in different cultures (Australia, Finland, Sweden, US).

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Debra May Friedrichsen Unaffiliated

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Debra Gilbuena has an M.BA, an M.S, and four years of industrial experience including a position in sensor development. Sensor development is also an area in which she holds a patent. She has engineering education research focused on student learning in virtual laboratories and the diffusion of educational interventions and practices.

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Gavin Tierney University of Washington

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Gavin Tierney is a Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Washington. He received his B.A. from The University of Puget Sound and his M.A. from The University of Denver. He is currently a LIFE (Learning in Informal and Formal Environments) Center Research Assistant on The Knowledge In Action Project. He is also an Early Career Researcher, working in collaboration with Oregon State University and The University of Turku in Finland, looking at engagement across virtual and project-based environments. His research focuses on engagement and identity development and the role of designed and alternative environments on these processes. His dissertation focuses on students entering into alternative high schools and explores students’ re-engagement in school and re-negotiation of their identities as learners.

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Abstract

Studying & Supporting Productive Disciplinary Engagement in STEM Learning Environments – Year 2Research teams from four universities are currently studying productive disciplinary engagementin complex, realistic, and challenging science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)learning environments. Productive disciplinary engagement (PDE) occurs when learners use thediscourses and practices of the discipline in authentic tasks in order to “get somewhere” (developa product, improve a process, gain better understanding of a phenomenon) over time (Engle &Conant, 2002; Engle, 2012). Productive engagement in meaningful, authentic activity is essentialfor motivation and progress toward flexible, adaptive expertise in STEM, but learning systemsthat support it are complex. Such systems are usually studied and designed in single contexts(e.g., high school environmental science classrooms, engineering design projects), so theknowledge gained, though rich, is difficult to transfer to new settings. Researchers from Finland,Australia, and the US who study these systems in different curricular, institutional and culturalcontexts, we aim to identify unifying themes and develop generalizable understandings aboutsupporting engagement and learning in STEM. We focus on group settings designed as authenticcontexts, where students must integrate and flexibly apply concepts and practices.We use a variety of approaches, including ethnographic records of students and teachers inSTEM and engineering projects and controlled field experiments with in-depth process analysis.Our research questions across projects include: • What supports PDE in advanced, complex STEM learning environments? • How do patterns of engagement in complex STEM environments vary by level, discipline, and country? • How can findings from these collaborative analyses inform further design of complex STEM learning environments?This poster reports on the second year of the collaboration and our progress towards cross-project analysis and the development of generalizable findings. We are investigating howstudents set subtasks in complex projects, how they negotiate or co-regulate the activity of thegroup, and the role that material tools (e.g., data output in virtual labs, analytical scaffolds) andteacher interactions play in the tension between student authority and accountability. Discoursefrom group meetings allows analysis of how engagement unfolds in two dimensions(Schoolworld vs. the World of the Discipline), and task co-production vs. knowledge co-construction (Khosa & Volet, 2013).Contrasting engagement across sites has yielded richer understanding. For example, we havecompared group interaction data from engineering students in a complex virtual industrially-situated engineering task to interaction in veterinary school and high school collaborativelearning activities. In the veterinary and environmental science activities, a group's exclusivefocus on co-producing the activity artifact for Schoolworld comes at the expense of engaging inco-construction of knowledge. In engineering, however, co-production is central to thediscipline. For example, in the virtual lab task groups produce of a set of process parameters forhigh volume manufacturing. A focus on co-production here can indicate immersion inEngineering World (World of the Discipline). Thus, a distinction between types of co-productionis necessary. We have characterized different triggers that lead a group into or out of PDE andshare some similarities across disciplines and contexts, insights that should inform the design ofcomplex STEM environments to support PDE.ReferencesEngle, R. A., & Conant, F. R. (2002). Guiding principles for fostering productive disciplinary engagement: Explaining an emergent argument in a community of learners classroom. Cognition and Instruction, 20(4), 399-483. doi: 10.1207/s1532690xci2004_1Engle, R. A. (2012). The productive disciplinary engagement framework: Origins, key concepts, and developments. In D. Y. Dai (Ed.), Design research on learning and thinking in educational settings : Enhancing intellectual growth and functioning (pp. 161-200). New York: Routledge.Khosa, D.K. and Volet, S.E. (2013) Promoting effective collaborative case-based learning at university: A metacognitive intervention. Studies in Higher Education, 38 (6). pp. 870-889.

Koretsky, M., & Nolen, S. B., & Volet, S. E., & Vauras, M. M., & Friedrichsen, D. M., & Tierney, G. (2015, June), Productive Disciplinary Engagement in Complex STEM Learning Environments Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24595

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