June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
K-12 & Pre-College Engineering
26.1427.1 - 26.1427.19
Student Understanding of the Engineering Design Process Using Challenge Based LearningResearch has shown that student-centered learning approaches are efficacious in improvingstudent learning. In particular, the challenge based learning (CBL) methodology proposed byApple Computer, Inc., employs a multidisciplinary approach in encouraging students to use theirknowledge and technology to solve real-world problems. In Apple’s 2008 study of CBL,findings showed student engagement among participating ninth and tenth graders was rated at97% or higher and that student involvement peaked where they perceived the solutions theyworked on to be of real value. Students are presented with a challenge that requires them todraw on prior learning, acquire new knowledge, work as a team and use their creativity to arriveat solutions. In most cases, CBL connects students to their community because the problems thatthey are working to solve are real-world problems.In this study conducted in a large metropolitan city, teachers introduced and implemented CBLin the curriculum. One research objective from the study was to teach middle and high schoolstudents the engineering design process (EDP) while solving a real word problem using CBL.The engineering design process is the formulation of a plan to help an engineer build a productor formulate a process with a specified performance goal. EDP involves a number of steps, andparts of the process may need to be repeated many times before production of a final product canbegin. Students were asked to draw their understanding of the engineering design process at theconclusion of the CBL unit. Specifically, we observed the nature of students' misconceptionsand the effects Challenge Based Learning pedagogy has on conceptual understanding of theEngineering Design Process.Important elements of EDP are: 1. Correct terms are used 2. Terms are connected to each other 3. Terms are connected to each other in the correct order 4. Cyclical Representation of EDP is identifiedAt the end of a CBL-EDP curricular Unit taught by a teacher, students were asked to complete aquestionnaire which included a question asking them to illustrating their understanding of theway they implemented EDP in the Unit through a drawing. These drawings were interpreted forthe elements listed above. To date, a four person team of trained scorers used a rubric to scoreEDP drawings from 6 out of 34 teachers (17.6%); this included 518 EDP drawings out of 4545received (11.4%). Individual teachers had differing numbers of students in their classes. Thefour scorers had three training sessions and two scorers rated each drawing. In this paper thetraining of the training of the raters, the evaluation process used by them to score the EDPdrawings made by the students, the results of their findings, and statistical technique used tovalidate the results are presented and discussed. Our inter-rater reliability was 0.90 - 0.94 usingCronbach alpha statistic for each pair of raters.Initial rubric scores indicate that the students can identify the steps in the EDP process andunderstand that they are connected. However, it is found that they are not representing thecyclical nature of EDP and the correct order of the steps. Since these results are a reflection ofthe teachers Unit implementation, we will work with the project team and resource team tosupport professional development for the teachers to improve their CBL and EDP instruction.
Gaskins, W., & Kukreti, A. R., & Maltbie, C., & Steimle, J. (2015, June), Student Understanding of the Engineering Design Process Using Challenge-based Learning Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24764
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