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Special Session: Model Eliciting Activities Instructor Perspectives

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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

Special Session: Next Generation Problem-Solving

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Page Count

12

Page Numbers

15.1080.1 - 15.1080.12

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/16786

Download Count

63

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Paper Authors

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Ronald Miller Colorado School of Mines

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Ronald L. Miller is professor of chemical engineering and Director of the Center for Engineering Education at the Colorado School of Mines where he has taught chemical engineering and interdisciplinary courses and conducted engineering education research for the past 24 years. Dr. Miller has received three university-wide teaching awards and has held a Jenni teaching fellowship at CSM. He has received grant awards for education research from the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education FIPSE program, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and the Colorado Commission on Higher Education and has published widely in the engineering education literature.

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Tamara Moore University of Minnesota Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-7956-4479

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Tamara J. Moore is an Assistant Professor of Mathematics/Engineering Education and co-director of the STEM Education Center at the University of Minnesota. Dr. Moore is a former high school mathematics teacher and her research interests are centered on the integration of STEM concepts through contextual problem solving in the mathematics and engineering classroom. She has been developing curricular tools and researching professional development and student learning in this area. Before coming to the University of Minnesota, Dr. Moore received her Ph.D. from the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University.

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Brian Self California Polytechnic State University

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Brian Self is a Professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department at California Polytechnic State University in San Luis Obispo. Prior to joining the faculty at Cal Poly in 2006, he taught for seven years at the United States Air Force Academy and worked for four years in the Air Force Research Laboratories. Research interests include active learning and engineering education, spatial disorientation, rehabilitation engineering, sports biomechanics, and aerospace physiology. He worked on a team that developed the Dynamics Concept Inventory and is currently collaborating on a grant to develop and assess Model Eliciting Activities in engineering. Brian is the 2008-2010 ASEE Zone IV Chair and serves as Cal Poly’s ASEE Campus Representative.

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Andrew Kean California Polytechnic State University

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Andrew J. Kean is an Associate Professor in Mechanical Engineering at California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo (Cal Poly). He received his B.E. degree in ME from The Cooper Union and received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in ME from the University of California, Berkeley. Prior to joining the department, he worked at Rocky Mountain Institute and Rumsey Engineers. He teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, thermal systems design, and renewable energy production. Dr. Kean has done research and published work in the areas of motor vehicle emissions and engineering education.

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Gillian Roehrig University of Minnesota

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Gillian Roehrig is an Associate Professor of Science Education and Co-Director of the STEM Education Center. Dr. Roehrig is a former high school chemistry teacher with a strong interest in engaging students in inquiry-based activities and integrating technology into science classrooms. Technology Enhanced Communities (TEC) funded by the Minnesota Office of Higher Education is an online learning community developed for middle school science teachers in Minneapolis Public Schools working to integrate technology into their classrooms. TEC will be extended to include teachers on the White Earth Reservation.

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Jack Patzer University of Pittsburgh

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Jack Patzer is Coordinator of the Bioartificial Liver Program in the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh.

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

Model-Eliciting Activities – Instructor Perspectives Abstract

As part of a larger NSF-funded project to develop Model-Eliciting Activities (MEAs) in engineering courses (MEDIA), the authors of this paper have piloted selected MEAs in their courses. This paper will describe their experiences within the context of available student learning data. An MEA is designed to present student teams with a realistic, thought provoking scenario that requires the development of a generalized mathematical model. A well-designed MEA is built around a main concept that the instructor wants students either to discover and/or better understand. Data from these experiments can be used to determine the value added for students completing MEAs compared with other types of problem-solving activities including problem-based learning exercises. Using an MEA also causes documented, positive change in the faculty members themselves.

Introduction and Background

Recently many STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) Education fields have actively tried to develop and implement Model-Eliciting Activities (MEAs) with their powerful functions in the educational and methodological aspects. MEAs were initially created in the mid-1970s by mathematics educators as research tools to explore students’ conceptual development and problem solving strategies (Lesh, Hoover, Hole, Kelly, & Post, 2000; Lesh & Lamon, 1992). Based on this inherent function of MEAs as a cognitive detector, research has found the potential for them to also be powerful educational tools; instructional tools for effective learning (Lesh & Zawojewski, 2007; Zawojewski & Lesh, 2003) and authentic assessment tools (Chamberlin & Moon, 2005; Lesh & Lamon, 1992).

An MEA is a problem-solving task related to real world situations requiring documentation of students’ thinking and procedures, not only a final product. In other words, it requires the “modeling” process itself as well as a “model” from students. The main characteristics of MEAs are: 1) Client-driven, open-ended, and realistic problems, 2) Designed based on multiple threads related to a realistic context, 3) Address higher-order thinking skills, 4) Products are models and modeling processes, and 5) Team work oriented (Lesh & Doerr, 2003; Lesh, Doerr, Carmona, & Hjalmarson, 2003; Lesh & Harel, 2003; Lesh & Zawojewski, 2007). Thus MEAs engage students in a real disciplinary community, where it is necessary to welcome multiple perspectives in teams, allowing them to develop collaboration skills (Moore & Diefes-Dux, 2004). Through eliciting and multi-cycle revision (express-test-revise) of models, students optimize their conceptual models and develop complex reasoning skills in the given contexts based on their experiences (Hamilton, Lesh, Lester, & Brilleslyper, 2008).

These characteristics of MEAs and their implementations are comparable to the main principles of engineering professional practice. The similarities between MEAs and engineering practice have made MEAs increasingly used in undergraduate engineering programs, and supported by several NSF grants to expand their implementation. Current engineering education research involves the following active areas of expanding the utility of MEAs: development of student reflection tools; implementation of learning technologies; detection and repair of

Miller, R., & Moore, T., & Self, B., & Kean, A., & Roehrig, G., & Patzer, J. (2010, June), Special Session: Model Eliciting Activities Instructor Perspectives Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. https://peer.asee.org/16786

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2010 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015