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The Critic as Designer: How Metacognition Makes Transdisciplinarity Possible

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Conference

2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Teamwork: Priming, Empathy, and Metacognition

Tagged Division

Liberal Education/Engineering & Society

Page Count

24

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/37846

Download Count

24

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Paper Authors

biography

Andrea L. Schuman Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

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Andrea is a first-year PhD student in Engineering Education at Virginia Tech. She holds a B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from the University of Oklahoma. Her research interests include culturally relevant pedagogy, teaching and learning in ECE, and international engineering education.

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Lisa D. McNair Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

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Lisa D. McNair is a Professor of Engineering Education at Virginia Tech, where she also serves as Director of the Center for Educational Networks and Impacts at the Institute for Creativity, Arts, and Technology (ICAT). Her research interests include interdisciplinary collaboration, design education, communication studies, identity theory and reflective practice. Projects supported by the National Science Foundation include exploring disciplines as cultures, liberatory maker spaces, and a RED grant to increase pathways in ECE for the professional formation of engineers.

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David Gray Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

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Dr. Gray receieved his B.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Virginia Tech in 2000. He then earned a M.S. and a Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering from Virginia Tech in 2002 and 2010, respectively. Much of his graduate education focused on semiconductor devices physics and materials processing. However, his actual Ph.D. dissertation was on thermal modeling and process control of a friction stir fabrication method of additive manufacturing. Dr. Gray followed up his Ph.D. with a position as a post-doctoral associate under the guidance of Dr. Dwight Veihland working with composite magnetic field sensors.
After his education, Dr. Gray continued his research in small-business environments, developing technologies and products across a wide range of fields including magnetic materials, sensors, and devices, energy harvesting technologies, harsh environment sensing, additive manufacturing, non-destructive inspection and evaluation, and vehicle autonomy.
Dr. Gray came to the Engineering Education department as an instructor in 2018, and was promoted to Associate Professor of Practice in August 2019. Dr. Gray is primarily focused on pedagogy of first-year engineering students, but maintains an undergraduate research group with interests in automotive systems, communications, computing, and non-destructive inspection.

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Desen Sevi Ozkan Tufts University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-1996-7719

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Desen is a postdoctoral researcher in the Tufts Center for Engineering Education Outreach and the Institute for Research on Learning and Instruction. She holds a Ph.D. in engineering education from Virginia Tech and a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Tufts University. Her research interests are focused on interdisciplinary curriculum development in engineering education and the political, economic, and societal dimensions of curricular change.

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Abstract

For students to solve complex problems from heterogeneous domains, they need practice engaging in transdisciplinary teamwork. According to Tan, Nesbit, Ellis, and Ostafichuk (2018), “Metacognition also plays a significant role in transdisciplinary interactions by enabling individuals to monitor, reflect on, and adapt learning processes in a multidimensional context”. Simply put, metacognition is the process of a learner self-monitoring their own thoughts and viewpoints. In our context of transdisciplinary design education, improving metacognition is relevant as students learn problem-framing and human-centered approaches while engaging in continuous collaboration and critique with students and faculty from other disciplines. The practice of critique is central to design processes across disciplines, though it is enacted in very different ways. The Critical Response Process, created by Liz Lerman, provides feedback in the form of inquiry from Responders that first try to understand the Creator’s perspective and thought process. The Creator is encouraged to reflect on their work from a new perspective. Finally, the Responders give their opinion on the project with the Creator’s full permission. Our study explores how Lerman’s Critical Response Process paired with guided self-reflection facilitates the elements of metacognition (setting goals, self-monitoring, controlling, and evaluating) in a transdisciplinary design course based in an engineering department. Our goal in this course is for students to engage in Critical Response Process feedback with peers to promote transdisciplinary learning. We address these research questions: In what ways is metacognition helpful to students as they learn to value different ways of knowing? Do learner/artist-centered critique techniques, like Lerman’s Critical Response Process, encourage participants to withhold immediate judgment and to consider various perspectives? How does students’ thinking about transdisciplinary teams and their own learning change after engaging in the Critical Response Process? Our methods include analyzing student assignments completed across the span of one semester. We use thematic coding informed by literature on metacognition and the learning outcome goals for the course. The student assignments used are Free Writes, where the students take five minutes to respond to suggested prompts; written Critical Response Process peer critiques sent to other groups; and a Reflection on their own peer critique after hearing from others. Anticipated results include insights into how students respond to giving and receiving critiques, and how this engagement influences their use of the elements of metacognition.

Schuman, A. L., & McNair, L. D., & Gray, D., & Ozkan, D. S. (2021, July), The Critic as Designer: How Metacognition Makes Transdisciplinarity Possible Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/37846

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