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Representations Of Student Model Development In Virtual Laboratories Based On A Cognitive Apprenticeship Instructional Design

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Conference

2010 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

New Learning Paradigms I

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Page Count

16

Page Numbers

15.1030.1 - 15.1030.16

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/16814

Download Count

66

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Paper Authors

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Kendra Seniow Oregon State University

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Kendra Seniow is an undergraduate student in Chemical Engineering, the University Honors College, and the International Studies Programs at Oregon State University. In pursuit of her University Honors College and International degrees, she is investigating student teams’ use of models during completion of the BioReactor Virtual Laboratory project, how similar educational principles can be applied to international development projects and how participation in both these authentic activities helps develop stronger engineers.

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Eric Nefcy Oregon State University

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Erick Nefcy is a MS student in the School of Chemical, Biological and Environmental Engineering at Oregon State University. Through his undergraduate studies, he has held multiple internships at Intel Corporation. He is currently studying the growth of self forming barrier layers in copper thin films as well as investigating the student teams’ use of models during completion of the Chemical Vapor Deposition Virtual Laboratory project.

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Christine Kelly Oregon State University

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Christine Kelly is an Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering at Oregon State University. She currently has research activity in biological production and use of ligninolytic enzymes in biomass deconstruction for bioproducts and biofuels manufacture. She also has interests in developing tools to promote the use of higher cognitive skills in engineering coursework. Dr. Kelly recently earned OSU's Austin-Paul Engineering Faculty Award for mentoring students.

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Milo Koretsky Oregon State University

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Milo Koretsky is an Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering at Oregon State University. He currently has research activity in areas related to thin film materials processing and engineering education. He is interested in integrating technology into effective educational practices and in promoting the use of higher level cognitive skills in engineering problem solving. Dr. Koretsky is a six-time Intel Faculty Fellow and has won awards for his work in engineering education at the university and national levels.

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

Representations of Student Model Development in Virtual Laboratories based on a Cognitive Apprenticeship Instructional Design

Abstract

The undergraduate laboratory plays a pivotal role in science and engineering curricula. However, traditional physical laboratories are resource intensive, and due to these constraints, do not always achieve their diverse set of intended learning outcomes. One way to overcome these limitations is to use alternative modes of delivery, such as virtual or remote laboratories. In a virtual laboratory, students do not interact with real equipment to obtain data, but rather with computer simulations of laboratory or industrial process equipment that produce results that can be obscured by pre-programmed statistical variation. In the most common approach, the virtual laboratory is used as an alternative mode and simulates a similar set of activities as in the corresponding physical laboratory. In a few cases, virtual laboratories have been used to create learning activities with no analog to the university instructional laboratory. The instructional and software design of the virtual laboratories described in this study falls into the latter case and is based on the situated context of a practicing engineer in industry. The cognitive apprenticeship approach used is structured around the task of having students determine the operating parameters for chemical processes for volume production through experimental design, interpretation and iteration. In this sense, the virtual laboratory project simulates what expert engineers do in practice, and ends up looking very different than the physical laboratory at the university.

In this paper, a method is presented to characterize student groups’ model development as they proceed through the task situated in the cyber-environment of the virtual laboratory. Data sources include laboratory journals, an initial design memorandum, the final written and oral reports, and experimental records available through the instructor interface. Classifications in the graphical representation of model development include: nature of the model component (quantitative, qualitative, empirical, statistical), utility of the model component (operationalized, modified, abandoned), correctness of the model component, action based on the model component (did it direct the values of input variables for a future run, was a run used to quantify model parameters, was the model qualitatively verified, etc.), and emotional responses to model verification or mismatch. Preliminary results from this model representation scheme are presented for two industrial scale virtual laboratories, one based on a transient biological system and one based on a steady-state chemical system. Different types of qualitative and quantitative models are evident in the students’ solutions and can be generally related to differences in the type of knowledge structures of the physical systems embodied by each of the virtual laboratories. Student groups also show distinct differences in ability to apply schematic and strategic knowledge, and strength in one knowledge type does not necessarily indicate strength in the other. This study is part of a larger project to compare and contrast the nature of learning elicited in the virtual laboratory experience.

Seniow, K., & Nefcy, E., & Kelly, C., & Koretsky, M. (2010, June), Representations Of Student Model Development In Virtual Laboratories Based On A Cognitive Apprenticeship Instructional Design Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. https://peer.asee.org/16814

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