Virtual On line
June 22, 2020
June 22, 2020
June 26, 2021
Despite the prevalence of problem exercises in the learning and assessment of engineering knowledge, recent research suggests a troubling mismatch between what is taught, what is learned, and what is assessed. Investigations with validated physics and mechanics concept inventories have identified that students conceptual understanding is in stark contrast to their achievement in courses. Qualitative studies conducted to investigate this phenomenon have shown that students of varied levels of expertise might demonstrate expected proficiency in problem-solving, but that conceptual understanding is lacking. That is, students who progress in their studies become better at calculating solutions to well-structured problems, but some remain deficient in the conceptual principles required to reason through complex or novel problems.
This project is rooted in the belief that problem-solving is foundational to engineering education, but that growing class sizes and demands on teaching time, as well as students’ prior knowledge and experiences, have deemphasized aspects of problem solving that align with research on learning and evidence-based pedagogical practices. Educational researchers argue that technology-rich learning environments can be used to overcome these challenges and thus foster conceptual understanding.
To systematically investigate how a technology-rich problem-solving interface can enhance the teaching, learning, and assessment of complex knowledge, researchers must initially develop a prerequisite understanding of both the processes by which students are actively constructing knowledge in a specific domain and the critical factors that either facilitate or undermine such active construction. In other words, what are the common conceptual schemas for reasoning through complex problems in the specific domain? Furthermore, what are the common errors students transfer in as prior knowledge when solving problems in the specific domain?
The proposed paper will set the stage for the development, implementation, testing, and deployment of a technology-rich problem-solving interface for Mechanics of Deformable Bodies in Engineering Science course. Data collected from 20 students enrolled in the course through think aloud interviews will be analyzed to determine what misconceptions, if any, students hold about course concepts. The items on the instrument were developed by members of the research team who have taught the course for multiple years and are examples of the items to be included in the interactive problem-solving tool. This paper documents the first step in an iterative process of item development and testing that will allow for the continuous improvement of the tool. The results from this work will aid the development of an open-access, online adaptive problem-solving environment that will enable and foster accelerated learning, offer opportunities to improve classroom efficiency and effectiveness, and enhance assessment accuracy in engineering.
Pitterson, N. P., & Grohs, J. R., & Davison, S. P., & Dillard, D. A., & Shuba, T. P., & Lord, J. (2020, June), WIP: Common Errors in Learning Strength of Materials Concepts as a Foundation to an Interactive Web-based Problem-solving Assessment Interface Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35528
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