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Reflective Journals: An Assessment Of A Vertically Integrated Design Team Project

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Student Teams and Active Learning

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.980.1 - 8.980.19

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Paper Authors

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Helen Qammr

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H. Michael Cheung

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Edward Evans

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Rex Ramsier

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Francis Broadway

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 2330

Reflective Journals: An Assessment of a Vertically Integrated Design Team Project

Francis S. Broadway Department of Curricular and Instructional Studies

Edward A. Evans, H. Michael Cheung, Helen K. Qammar Department of Chemical Engineering

Rex D. Ramsier Departments of Physics, Chemistry, and Chemical Engineering The University of Akron Akron, Ohio 44325

Abstract: The use of affective/associative reflective journals and skill-based reflective journals as assessment tools of undergraduate chemical engineer students’ learning in a vertically integrated team design project (VITDP) is the focus of this exploratory study. Participants from a large midwestern university were required to submit a reflective journal each week over a five-week period. The reflective journals of 23 participants were analyzed to unearth the conceptual descriptions of teamwork held by the participants, to describe the role of metacognition in reflective journal writing, and to determine how reflective journals facilitate construction of knowledge. Thus, reflective journals were meaningful as assessment tools because they communicated how VITDP participants learn and supplied valuable information to make future curricular and instructional decisions. Based on the reflective journals, teamwork is a social environment in which to learn engineering content and skills; however, the participants did not engage in metacognition. The authors suggest that future VITDP include structures to facilitate synergy and participants need instruction in reflection and metacognition as learning tools.

I. Introduction

The Vertically Integrated (by class rank) Team Design Project (VITDP) is an engineering design curricular and instructional project for the National Science Foundation-funded Bridges for Engineering Education (BEE) project at The University of Akron. The curricular focal point of this project is engineering teamwork. Instruction is accomplished by having the participants, as members of a team, address an engineering design problem written by the chemical engineering faculty. Specifically, the participants are undergraduate chemical engineer major students, but the BEE project is also a curricular and instructional project for early childhood education major students. The vertically integrated team, for this exploratory study, consists of senior, junior, sophomore, and freshman undergraduate chemical engineering major students; however one team includes a graduate non-licensed secondary school education major.

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Qammr, H., & Cheung, H. M., & Evans, E., & Ramsier, R., & Broadway, F. (2003, June), Reflective Journals: An Assessment Of A Vertically Integrated Design Team Project Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee.

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