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Uncovering the influence of contextual representation on engineering problem solving in engineering students and practicing engineers

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Conference

2019 ASEE PNW Section Conference

Location

Corvallis, Oregon

Publication Date

March 20, 2019

Start Date

March 20, 2019

End Date

March 22, 2019

Permanent URL

https://strategy.asee.org/31899

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Paper Authors

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David S. Hurwitz Oregon State University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-8450-6516

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Dr. David Hurwitz is an Associate Professor of Transportation Engineering in the School of Civil and Construction Engineering at Oregon State University and is the Director of the OSU Driving and Bicycling Simulator Laboratory. Dr. Hurwitz conducts research in transportation engineering, in the areas of traffic operations and safety, and in engineering education, in the areas of conceptual assessment and curriculum adoption.

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Shane A. Brown P.E. Oregon State University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-3669-8407

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Shane Brown is an associate professor and Associate School Head in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Oregon State University. His research interests include conceptual change and situated cognition. He received the NSF CAREER award in 2010 and is working on a study to characterize practicing engineers’ understandings of core engineering concepts. He is a Senior Associate Editor for the Journal of Engineering Education.

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Sean Lyle Gestson Oregon State University

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Sean Gestson is a recent graduate from the University of Portland where he studied Civil Engineering with a focus in Water Resources and Environmental Engineering. He is currently conducting Engineering Education research while pursuing a doctoral degree in Civil Engineering at Oregon State University. His research interests include problem solving, decision making, and engineering curriculum development.

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Abstract

Duration: Researchers involved in a 3 year NSF Research on Engineering Education study will present aspects of their experiments and findings during two 1-hour sessions. Participants will receive hands on training on approaches to implement the findings of the research in their classrooms.

Session 1 Orientation: During the first half of the presentation, participants will received an orientation to conceptual knowledge, the theory of situated cognition, and the impact of contextual representation on problem-solving capabilities of practicing engineers and engineering students. We will introduce the study and its methodology, including the steps taken to identify prominent concepts and contexts in transportation engineering and hydraulics engineering as examples of the process.

Session 1 Activity: After the orientation, workshop participants will be divided into groups and asked to provide feedback on the developed problem and associated contextual representations. Group discussions will be moderated by two researchers involved in the project and will revolve around 5 main questions: 1. Are the contextual representations authentic? 2. Is the problem authentic? 3. How could we improve this problem or the associated contextual representations? 4. Would you use this problem in a class that you teach? 5. Would you use this approach to design a question for your class? Participants will be asked to summarize their answers (either as a group or as an individual) and report it back to the facilitators.

Session 2 Orientation: Second half of the presentation will follow a similar structure as Session 1. During the first 15 minutes, participants will be presented with the details of data collection and data reduction process from the project. They will also be provided with preliminary findings from eye-tracking experiments as well as reflective clinical interviews.

Session 2 Activity: The remainder of this session will be dedicated to group discussion. Here, participants will be asked to collectively design a new problem and identify its relevant contextual representations, in any content area of interest to them. By the end of this session, one person from each table will report back to the facilitators about their problem and associated contextual representations.

Hurwitz, D. S., & Brown, S. A., & Gestson, S. L. (2019, March), Uncovering the influence of contextual representation on engineering problem solving in engineering students and practicing engineers Paper presented at 2019 ASEE PNW Section Conference, Corvallis, Oregon. https://strategy.asee.org/31899

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