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Using Engineering Design Teaching Portfolios to Gauge Design Teacher Performance and Infer Design Pedagogical Content Knowledge

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016





Conference Session

K-12 & Pre-College Engineering Division: Fundamental; K-12 Students & Engineering Division: Fundamental; K-12 Students & Engineering Design Practices: Best Paper Session

Tagged Division

Pre-College Engineering Education Division

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Paper Authors


David Crismond City College of the City University of New York

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David P. Crismond is an Associate Professor in the School of Education at City College, City University of New York, 138th St. & Convent Ave. NAC 6/207b, New York, NY 10031; His research interests relate to engineering design cognition and instruction, and helping teachers build their own design pedagogical content knowledge and do integrated STEM instruction using design challenges with their students.

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Michal Lomask

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This paper reports on the creation and use of an Engineering Design Teaching Portfolio system that was created for an NSF-funded DRK-12 project which developed two engineering design-based instructional units for use in middle-school technology education classes. The instructional units, which aimed to depict engineering as a social good, focused on vertical farming (hydroponics) or water purification (filtration).

The research portion of this project created a set of Engineering Design Teaching Standards and a Design Teaching Portfolio system that teachers used to compile evidence of their teaching and student learning, and which could be used with a wide range of design-based instructional materials. Data included by teachers in their portfolios was analyzed and used to describe a design teacher’s know-how when using design activities with students -- similar data could help depict the impact of professional development programs on teachers' design pedagogical content knowledge based on curricula's use in the classroom.

A set of Design Teaching Standards (DTS) were developed by the research team. The DTS were used to formulate performance rubrics for scoring the submitted design teacher portfolios. The development of the DTS is based on an extensive review of the design cognition, teaching and learning literatures, design teaching standards from countries outside of the US, and feedback on draft standards from expert designers, researchers and classroom teachers.

Twenty-two middle-school technology educators participated in a pilot study of the EfA units, teachers either the food or the water instructional unit. While implementing the unit, teachers compiled a teaching portfolio that included: (a) a structured log that teachers completed after finishing one of eight sections of instruction; (b) three 5-10 minute unedited video clips depicting various aspects of the teaching standards (c) all written work from one female and one male student, annotated with comments from the teacher; and (d) a final written teacher reflection on student learning and suggestions for improving future instruction.

The Design Teaching Portfolio system was modeled after the Connecticut BEST program and EdTPA. Rubrics based on the DTS were developed, and used by members of the research team to identify trends in teachers design PCK, including their understanding of STEM concepts and themes, students' use of informed engineering practices, and classroom pedagogy.

Crismond, D., & Lomask, M. (2016, June), Using Engineering Design Teaching Portfolios to Gauge Design Teacher Performance and Infer Design Pedagogical Content Knowledge Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.27143

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