Salt Lake City, Utah
June 23, 2018
June 23, 2018
July 27, 2018
Educational Research and Methods
This is a work-in-progress paper on a descriptive or a ‘what is’ type of teaching and learning project related to deep learning of fundamental knowledge in geomatics engineering. On the hard-soft and pure-applied spectrums the discipline of geomatics engineering can be classified as hard and applied. This makes sustaining an environment for deep learning, as opposed to superficial learning, of core geomatics engineering knowledge a challenging task. This environment sometimes comes at the cost of instructors of higher level courses having to repeatedly review concepts taught in lower level courses. As a result, little time is left for tackling advanced learning outcomes. This problem can be mitigated by assessing the current learning environments in core geomatics engineering courses and, more specifically, identifying threshold concepts or areas of troublesome knowledge in these courses; developing and implementing a collection of learning resources and teaching activities to address these matters; and observing and analyzing the effect of using these resources and activities on geomatics engineering students. This paper will focus on the first part of the problem, namely, what methods to use in order to assess the learning environment and detect the threshold concepts in select geomatics engineering courses. The authors propose a series of questionnaires, observation sessions, and reflection meetings where students in their second and third year of geomatics engineering will be invited to participate. The questionnaires will be formative minute papers on muddy concepts throughout the semester, and summative end-of-term surveys asking the students to describe their learning experience during the semester. The observation sessions will be in-class (teacher-student interactions) and think-aloud (individual or in groups). The reflection meetings will be conducted after certain exams, tutorials or labs, where the students will be given the opportunity to express their opinions on the learning objectives involved. In addition, grades from midterm and final exams will be analyzed for any alignment between the concepts in question and the respective student performance. This part of the project will be run for two years, so the authors will be seeking input from the engineering education community in order to improve the study in its second iteration.
Detchev, I., & Rangelova, E. V., & Packer, S. C., & Hassan, Q. K., & O'Keefe, K. (2018, June), WIP: Decoding a Discipline – Toward Identifying Threshold Concepts in Geomatics Engineering Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--31248
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