June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
22.1451.1 - 22.1451.10
The Effectiveness of Students’ Daily Reflections on Learning in Engineering ContextReflection is a significant cognitive process to enhance students’ learning outcomes and/orperformance. Several studies have shown the value of learners reflecting on what they havedone, processed or engaged in so far. However, only a few of these studies investigated theimportance of reflecting on confusing points, and none of the studies were conducted in anengineering context.This study investigated the effects of engineering students’ daily reflections on their learning ofvarious introductory materials engineering science concepts. The materials science engineeringstudents were asked to reflect on the “muddiest points” at the end of each class for the entiresemester of spring 2010. The students individually answered the question of “what wasconfusing or needed more detail” after each class. We collected students’ daily reflections, preand post concept tests about the crystal structures and polymer structures, unit exams, andMaterials Science Concept Inventory (MCI) as data resources.Students’ daily reflections on “muddiest points” were coded based on the deepness of theirexplanations. Here, the deepness of explanations indicated the degree to which the reflectionswere relatively active or constructive . According to Chi’s framework, reflections can beclassified as active or constructive processes based on the details of the reflection and thecognitive processes that can be identified from it. For example, after the first lecture of a crystalstructures class, one student wrote “unit cells” as the muddiest point, whereas another studentfrom the same class wrote “how type of the crystal structure affects strength of a material” as themuddiest point. The first reflection is a brief and shallow statement compared to the secondreflection. Also, the first reflection is basically a restatement of one of the very broad conceptsthat was already presented in the lecture, which represents active learning, whereas the secondreflection is a unique statement that links a concept from the lecture (i.e. crystal structure) toanother concept that was not even presented in that lecture (i.e. strength of material), whichindicates more constructive learning. Accordingly, our coding schema for the reflections followsan ordinal scale of 0-3 to indicate the degree of deepness or quality of reflections.The statistical analysis showed a significant correlation between the quality of students’ dailyreflections and learning gains based on crystal structures pre and post concept tests. In otherwords, the students whose reflections on muddiest points involved more detailed explanations,also, performed better on concept tests than the students whose reflections were relativelyshallow. Also, there was a significant correlation between students’ average muddiest pointscores and their percentage correct of the polymer structures-related questions on the unit test.The students who were able to articulate their questions about course material in more detailwere also ones who scored higher on the unit exam in general. However, there was no significantcorrelation between students’ average muddiest point scores and their pre-post concept testdifference scores for polymer structures. Next steps for this study are to analyze students’responses on the MCI in order to explore how students’ understanding is changed based on adelayed concept test for the point confusing during the class.
Menekse, M., & Stump, G., & Krause, S. J., & Chi, M. T. (2011, June), The Effectiveness of Students’ Daily Reflections on Learning in an Engineering Context Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. https://peer.asee.org/19002
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