Salt Lake City, Utah
June 23, 2018
June 23, 2018
July 27, 2018
Liberal Education/Engineering & Society
Concept mapping (CM) activities are well understood as a formative, generative and summative means to assess learning and document knowledge acquisition in a variety of disciplines. Within Engineering Education (EE) and other STEM fields, CM has been deemed successful in assessing whether a given set of students have achieved learning goals associated with ‘perfect’ (or near perfect) representation of established engineering and scientific concepts. What is less understood is how to assess learning goals in which there is no ‘perfect’ answer or expert level example to the question. CMs have struggled in adapting to situations where students need to demonstrate the competencies in complex sociocultural phenomenon, systems thinking, or ethical reasoning. The challenges are clear for those educators, assessors and companies that want engineering students to have demonstrated the non-technical standards set forth by ABET EC2000, specifically C3 and C5, and the current debates among those in charge of accreditation. This paper offers a methodological application from past research and suggests refinements in the administration and scoring of concept maps after presenting the successes and challenges of this form of assessment. The goal is to understand knowledge acquisition related to conceptualizing the interconnections between technical, social, environmental, ethical and global dimensions of engineering. We build on a previously developed data set with an initial ‘pre-test’ concept mapping activity performed in August 2016 by 151 4th year undergraduate engineering students enrolled in a mandatory, multidisciplinary course sequence on the first day of class. A second CM ‘post-test’ was performed by 115 of the original students in early March 2017. Comparing the output of pre- and post-test demonstrates what categories of knowledge are acquired and how the acquired knowledge aligns with the ABET criteria. A second evaluation considers how instructor’s pedagogical approaches influence the outcomes. This analysis suggests that CM offers a compelling strategy to assess knowledge acquisition where no ‘perfect’ answer can be used for absolute measurement. This assessment method offers a bridge from assessment tools for individual knowledge representation and programmatic assessment.
Ferguson, S. M., & Foley, R. W., & Eshirow, J. K., & Pollack, C. C. (2018, June), Refining Concept Maps as Method to Assess Learning Outcomes Among Engineering Students Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. https://peer.asee.org/30924
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