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The Design of Language for Engineering Education: Recycling IM and Text Messaging to Capture Engineering Processes

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Design Methodology and Evaluation 1

Tagged Division

Design in Engineering Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.1182.1 - 23.1182.12



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Paper Authors


Tamecia R. Jones Purdue University, West Lafayette Orcid 16x16

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Tamecia received a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering with a concentration in Electrical and Computer Engineering from The Johns Hopkins University, a M.A. in Learning, Design, and Technology from Stanford University, and a M.Div. from Boston University School of Theology. She taught middle school math and science for three years, consulted with pre-college programs, and nonprofits and museums. The focus of her doctoral research is assessment in K-12 engineering education.

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Monica E Cardella Purdue University, West Lafayette Orcid 16x16

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Monica Cardella is an Assistant Professor of Engineering Education at Purdue University. She is also the Director of Informal Learning Environments Research for the Institute for P-12 Engineering Learning and Research (INSPIRE). She conducts research on undergraduate engineering students' design and mathematical thinking in formal and informal contexts in addition to research on how children develop engineering thinking in informal learning environments.

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Senay Purzer Purdue University, West Lafayette Orcid 16x16

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The Design of Language for Engineering Education: Recycling IM and Text Messaging to Capture Engineering ProcessesIn an ideal world, teachers would be able to track the rationale of individual students or studentgroups and communicate with students continuously rather than at the end of a project or atmilestones. Current design rationale tools tested in industry show that engineers (and students)have to break their momentum to stop and record ideas or document, so those tools are not aseffective as they could be. A previous research project comparing different types of media usedfor documentation in a high school engineering project course showed that in situ video offeredinstructors deeper insight into the thought processes of students and their learning than designjournals, storyboards, or digital photographs (author ASEE 2012 paper). A natural continuationof that project was to use the video to observe natural communication patterns, themesconnected to engineering design, and engagement between students within groups and betweenteachers. Those observations, combined with the recognition that digital technology and socialmedia have permeated our culture and classrooms, give us an opportunity to use digitaltechnology and social media to our advantage as researchers and educators.A tool that allows seamless communication and documentation would be ideal for both studentswho want to communicate conversationally and teachers who need to assess learning and wantto see process thinking. This project looks to fill that gap by designing a language currentlypopular with students (and some adults) to be the foundation framework for a future designrationale tool. Using live video from student groups and classroom sessions and based onresearch in computer-mediated communication and literacy, we generate a classroom text andIM language that can be used to facilitate communication between students and improveengagement between students and instructors during the engineering design process. Thelanguage includes abbreviations and icons specific to engineering and design processes, andreflects interaction behaviors in the relationships between students, groups, and teachers. Thislanguage can then be taught to students and teachers to test its efficacy in supportingdocumentation, reflection, and assessment.

Jones, T. R., & Cardella, M. E., & Purzer, S. (2013, June), The Design of Language for Engineering Education: Recycling IM and Text Messaging to Capture Engineering Processes Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--22567

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