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Solution Diversity in Engineering Computing Final Projects

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Conference

2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Perspectives and Evaluation of Engineering Design Education

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

18

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/35198

Download Count

5

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Paper Authors

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Sara Willner-Giwerc Tufts University

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Sara Willner-Giwerc is a Ph.D. candidate in mechanical engineering at Tufts University. She graduated from Tufts University with a B.S. in mechanical engineering and a double minor in engineering education and engineering management in 2018. She is a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, which supports her research at the Tufts Center for Engineering Education and Outreach (CEEO) on technological tools, learning experiences, and environments for teaching engineering in classrooms pre-k through college.

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Kristen B. Wendell Tufts University

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Kristen Wendell is Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Adjunct Associate Professor of Education at Tufts University. Her research efforts at at the Center for Engineering Education and Outreach focus on supporting discourse and design practices during K-12, teacher education, and college-level engineering learning experiences, and increasing access to engineering in the elementary school experience, especially in under-resourced schools. In 2016 she was a recipient of the U.S. Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). https://engineering.tufts.edu/me/people/faculty/kristen-bethke-wendell

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Chris Buergin Rogers Tufts University

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Chris is a professor of Mechanical Engineering at Tufts University with research in engineering education, robotics, musical instrument design, IoT, and anything else that sounds fun.

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Ethan E. Danahy Tufts University

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Ethan Danahy is a Research Assistant Professor in the Department Computer Science at Tufts University outside of Boston MA, having received the B.S. and M.S. degrees in Computer Science in 2000 and 2002, respectively, and a Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering in 2007, all from Tufts. Additionally, he acts as the Engineering Research Program Director at the Center for Engineering Education and Outreach (CEEO), where he manages educational technology development projects while researching innovative and interactive techniques for assisting teachers with performing engineering education and communicating robotics concepts to students spanning the K-12 through university age range.

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Isabella Stuopis Tufts University

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PhD Candidate in Mechanical Engineering at Tufts University. Interests: undergraduate learning, learning outside of the classroom setting, collaboration in engineering, learning assistants

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Abstract

This research paper describes a solution diversity analysis of the final projects completed in an undergraduate engineering computing course. The course was taught by four different professors using three distinct instructional approaches. One professor used a distributed-expertise model, and the other three used traditional content-delivery methods. A distributed expertise model is a pedagogical approach where students specialize in different topic areas within the broader course subject. In the traditional sections, students were free to choose any application of computational thinking in which they were interested for their final project. Based on an analysis of the final projects submitted by students, these projects had a high diversity of applications but the computational tools that students selected for their analyses were very similar across all projects. In the distributed-expertise section, students were given a very scaffolded design problem as their final project. Each group of four students completed the same challenge; however, the ways they pieced together their distributed knowledge to solve the problem varied widely between groups. In other words, there was low solution diversity in application and a high diversity of processes used to solve the problem. This case study explores how the solution diversity of students’ final project submissions varied across both the distributed-expertise section and the lecture-based and problem-based sections, and the ways in which the instructional models and final project prompts did or did not afford solution diversity in the final projects.

Willner-Giwerc, S., & Wendell, K. B., & Rogers, C. B., & Danahy, E. E., & Stuopis, I. (2020, June), Solution Diversity in Engineering Computing Final Projects Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . https://peer.asee.org/35198

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