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Students’ Metacognitive Strategies Revealed Through Reflections on Their Learning of Process Engineering Concepts and Skills

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2022 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Minneapolis, MN

Publication Date

August 23, 2022

Start Date

June 26, 2022

End Date

June 29, 2022

Conference Session

Biological and Agricultural Engineering Division Technical Session 1

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Paper Authors


Heidi Diefes-Dux University of Nebraska - Lincoln

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Heidi A. Diefes-Dux is a Professor in Biological Systems Engineering at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln (UNL). She received her B.S. and M.S. in Food Science from Cornell University and her Ph.D. in Food Process Engineering from the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering at Purdue University. She was an inaugural faculty member of the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University and now leads the Discipline-Based Education Research Initiative in the College of Engineering at UNL. Her research focuses on the development, implementation, and assessment of modeling and design activities with authentic engineering contexts. She also focuses on the implementation of learning objective-based grading and reflection.

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Anu Singh University of Nebraska Lincoln

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Anu Singh is a graduate student in the Engineering Education research program at the University of Nebraska Lincoln. Area of interest includes creativity in engineering students and self-reflection.

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Workplace learning requires one to be a self-directed learner. Self-reflection provides one with opportunities to assess their own learning processes. If engineering students were to develop self-reflection skills in parallel with their domain knowledge and skills acquisition, the transition from highly structured, instructor-led learning to more self-directed learning might be eased. However, there is little integration of reflection in engineering coursework though a few studies have emerged in recent years. The purpose of this work was to classify the different metacognitive strategies students employed in their reflections so that an assessment for the need for formal instruction on reflection could be made. This work was also intended as a starting point for helping instructors understand the quality of student reflections. Students in a junior-level introduction to process engineering course with little to no prior reflection experience responded to reflection prompts anchored in their weekly assignments and the course learning objectives. Reflections associated with the initial three assignments of the semester were coded for dimension and level of metacognitive strategies employed. Visual representations of the frequency of each code across the assignments showed that students predominately used low and medium levels of planning and monitoring. Few reflective comments were coded as actions, transfer, or evaluating.

Diefes-Dux, H., & Singh, A. (2022, August), Students’ Metacognitive Strategies Revealed Through Reflections on Their Learning of Process Engineering Concepts and Skills Paper presented at 2022 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Minneapolis, MN. 10.18260/1-2--41288

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