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Studying & Supporting Productive Disciplinary Engagement in STEM Learning Environments

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Conference

2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

NSF Grantees’ Poster Session

Tagged Division

Division Experimentation & Lab-Oriented Studies

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count

12

Page Numbers

24.1137.1 - 24.1137.12

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/23070

Download Count

26

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Paper Authors

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Milo Koretsky Oregon State University

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Milo Koretsky is a Professor of Chemical Engineering at Oregon State University. He received his B.S. and M.S. degrees from UC San Diego and his Ph.D. from UC Berkeley, all in Chemical Engineering. He currently has research activity in areas related engineering education and is interested in integrating technology into effective educational practices and in promoting the use of higher-level cognitive skills in engineering problem solving. His research interests particularly focus on what prevents students from being able to integrate and extend the knowledge developed in specific courses in the core curriculum to the more complex, authentic problems and projects they face as professionals. Dr. Koretsky is one of the founding members of the Center for Lifelong STEM Education Research at OSU.

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Susan Bobbitt Nolen University of Washington

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Susan Bobbitt Nolen is a Professor of Learning Sciences & Human Development in the University of Washington's College of Education. She holds a PhD in Educational Psychology from Purdue University. Her research focuses on the development-in-context of motivation to learn in school subjects and the relationships among motivation, engagement, and identity construction. Her current projects include a cross-national collaboration focused on supporting productive disciplinary engagement in complex STEM contexts (including engineering and environmental science): the Science Across Virtual Institutes (SAVI) collaboration with OSU and UTU reported here, sponsored by NSF, the Academy of Finland, and TEKES. Dr. Nolen is a member of the Knowledge-in-Action research group in the UW LIFE Center. In collaboration with teachers and districts, the KIA group is developing engaging, rigorous, project-based AP courses for high school students using a design-based implementation research framework.

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Debra M. Gilbuena Oregon State University

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Debra Gilbuena is a postdoctoral scholar in the School of Chemical, Biological, and Environmental Engineering at Oregon State University. Debra has an M.BA, an M.S, and four years of industrial experience including a position in sensor development. Sensor development is also an area in which she holds a patent. She currently has research focused on student learning in virtual laboratories and the diffusion of educational interventions and practices.

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Erno Lehtinen University of Turku

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ERNO LEHTINEN is professor of education at the University of Turku and is currently holding a five-year Academy Professor position in the Centre for Learning Research of the University of Turku. He has studied early development of mathematical skills, technology-based learning environments, conceptual change in mathematics and science learning, and new forms of expertise in technology rich and networked environments. Email: erno.lehtinen@utu.fi

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Marja Vauras Centre for Learning Research, University of Turku

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Gavin Tierney University of Washington

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Gavin Tierney is a Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Washington. He received his B.A. from The University of Puget Sound and his M.A. from The University of Denver. He is currently a LIFE (Learning in Informal and Formal Environments) Center Research Assistant on The Knowledge In Action Project. He is also an Early Career Researcher, working in collaboration with Oregon State University and The University of Turku in Finland, looking at engagement across virtual and project-based environments. His research focuses on engagement and identity development and the role of designed and alternative environments on these processes. His dissertation focuses on students entering into alternative high schools and explores students’ re-engagement in school and re-negotiation of their identities as learners.

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Simone E. Volet Murdoch University, Perth, Australia

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Simone Volet is Professor of Educational Psychology at Murdoch University, Perth Australia. Her research takes a combined sociocognitive and situative perspective to the study of learning, motivation and regulation in collaborative learning. Recent theoretical contributions involve the development of a situative framework combining the constructs of social regulation and content processing for analysing productive high-level co-regulation and co-construction of knowledge in STEM collaborative learning environments. She has also contributed to the development of analytical tools for the study of interpersonal regulation in small group learning interactions as they unfold in real time.

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Abstract

Studying & Supporting Productive Disciplinary Engagement in STEM Learning EnvironmentsResearch teams from four universities are currently studying productive disciplinary engagementin complex, realistic, and challenging science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM)learning environments. Productive disciplinary engagement occurs when learners use thediscourses and practices of the discipline in authentic tasks in order to “get somewhere” (developa product, improve a process, gain better understanding of a phenomenon) over time. Productiveengagement in meaningful, authentic activity is essential for motivation and progress towardflexible, adaptive expertise in STEM, but learning systems that support it are complex anddifficult to scale. Such systems are usually studied and designed in single contexts (e.g., highschool environmental science classrooms, engineering design projects), so the knowledgegained, though rich, is difficult to transfer to new settings. Through collaboration amongresearchers from Finland, Australia, and the US who study these systems in different curricular,institutional and cultural contexts, we aim to identify unifying themes and develop generalizableunderstandings about supporting engagement and learning in STEM. We focus on group settingsin authentic contexts, where students must integrate and flexibly apply concepts and practices.The research teams use a variety of approaches, including ethnographic (video and audio)records of students and teachers engaged in STEM projects; design-based research on virtuallearning environments, material tools and assessment strategies; and controlled field experimentswith in-depth process analysis. Our research questions across projects include the followingresearch questions: • What supports productive disciplinary engagement in advanced, complex STEM learning environments? • How do these patterns of engagement in complex STEM environments vary by level (high school, university), discipline (engineering, environmental science, veterinary science) and country (US, Finland, Australia)? • How can findings from these collaborative analyses inform further design of complex STEM learning environments?This poster reports on the initial year of the collaboration and our progress towards cross-projectanalysis and the development of generalizable findings. Our initial task is to develop a system ofanalysis that enables cross-project investigation of productive disciplinary engagement and itssupports. During this time each team has invested effort into building research capacity,coordinating the collaboration and exploring the theoretical underpinnings of productivedisciplinary engagement. Current work focuses on the design and testing of tools that supportboth formative assessment and engagement. We are investigating how students set subtasks incomplex projects, how they negotiate or co-regulate the activity of the group, and the role thatmaterial tools (e.g., data output in virtual labs, design memos, analytical scaffolds) and teacherinteractions play in the tension between student authority and accountability.

Koretsky, M., & Nolen, S. B., & Gilbuena, D. M., & Lehtinen, E., & Vauras, M., & Tierney, G., & Volet, S. E. (2014, June), Studying & Supporting Productive Disciplinary Engagement in STEM Learning Environments Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. https://peer.asee.org/23070

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