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Scaffolding through Question Prompts to Avoid Pernicious Einstellung (Set) Effect

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016





Conference Session

Teaching & Learning Dynamics, Vibration, and Mechanics More Broadly

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Yan Tang Embry-Riddle Aeronautical Univ., Daytona Beach Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Yan Tang is an associate professor of mechanical engineering at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Fla. Her current research in engineering education focuses on cognitive load theory, deliberate practice, and effective pedagogical practices. Her background is in dynamics and controls.

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The Einstellung Effect occurs when the first solution that comes to mind, often triggered by improper initial intuition, prevents a correct solution from being found. The Einstellung effect has been a frequent stumbling block for students when learning dynamics due to their conceptual misunderstanding. Although the phenomenon has been studied in cognitive psychology, it has not been seen in engineering education literature. This paper will investigate how scaffolding through proper question prompts could avoid this phenomena. Examples and assessment results will be provided to demonstrate the effectiveness.

By sharing our practice on the Einstellung effect prevention, we intend to inform engineering educators of the fruitful results from cognitive sciences. We can further evaluate the theories in engineering education setting as many of them were developed for other disciplines in a laboratory setting. Those results could serve as stepping stones for us to tackle challenges in engineering education.

Tang, Y. (2016, June), Scaffolding through Question Prompts to Avoid Pernicious Einstellung (Set) Effect Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26137

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