June 20, 2010
June 20, 2010
June 23, 2010
Educational Research and Methods
15.1029.1 - 15.1029.14
Repairing Student Misconceptions Using Ontology Training: A Study with Junior and Senior Undergraduate Engineering Students
Previous studies reported that misconceptions related to heat transfer, fluid mechanics, and thermodynamics, persist among engineering juniors and seniors even after they have completed college-level courses in the subjects. This study focuses on developing methods to repair some particularly robust misconceptions in diffusion, heat transfer, and microfluidics. Three online training modules were created in Blackboard that provided instruction about two distinct scientific processes (sequential and emergent processes), heat transfer, diffusion and microfluidics. An experimental study with 60 juniors and seniors undergraduate engineering students was conducted at a large Midwestern US university. Experimental and control cohorts completed the on-line multimedia modules including macroscopic and microscopic simulations of heat transfer and diffusion processes. Quantitative data were collected through multiple- choice questions assessing conceptual knowledge of diffusion, heat transfer, and microfluidics. In addition, qualitative data were collected through participants’ verbal explanations of their multiple choice answers. Both quantitative and qualitative results indicate that there was statistically significant improvement in the experimental cohort compared to the control cohort in conceptual understanding of diffusion and microfluidics processes but there was no significant improvement in heat transfer. This result might be attributed to a “pedagogical learning impediment” associated with participants having taken prior heat transfer courses or which assessment questions which did not adequately probe for conceptual understanding of heat transfer.
Previous studies reported that misconceptions related to heat transfer, fluid mechanics, and thermodynamics, persist among engineering juniors and seniors even after they have completed college-level courses in the subjects. 1 Slotta and Chi 2, 3 have demonstrated that, with middle school and non-science college students, misconceptions can be repaired after training students in appropriate mental frameworks or schemas for some difficult concepts. This innovative instructional approach- ontological schema training method - focuses on facilitating students’ conceptual change by helping students develop appropriate schemas or conceptual frameworks for learning difficult science concepts.
The ontological schema training approach consists of two distinct categories of concepts, sequential processes and emergent processes. The sequential process results when interaction agents in a causal and dependent pattern causes some “outcome in a sequential and dependent” way. 2 Main properties of sequential processes in terms of the pattern of the outcome are: causal and intentional agents, sequential and dependent, differentiated behavior or actions. For example, the pattern of the process of building a skyscraper is the changing shape and size of the building. The agents of this process are the workers who contribute to the building and the materials they use in their construction tasks. Each worker behaves in their own way, depending on his or her
Yang, D., & Santiago Roman, A., & Streveler, R., & Miller, R., & Slotta, J., & Chi, M. (2010, June), Repairing Student Misconceptions Using Ontology Training: A Study With Junior And Senior Undergraduate Engineering Students Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16748
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