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Work in Progress: Assessment of Reflective Thinking in Graduate Engineering Students: Human and Machine Methods

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Conference

2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Environmental Engineering Division Technical Session 1: Intercultural Competency-infused Teaching

Tagged Division

Environmental Engineering

Page Count

15

Permanent URL

https://strategy.asee.org/38124

Download Count

16

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Paper Authors

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Roman Taraban Texas Tech University

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Roman Taraban is Professor in the Department of Psychological Sciences at Texas Tech University. He received his Ph.D. in cognitive psychology from Carnegie Mellon University. His interests are in how undergraduate students learn, and especially, in critical thinking and how students draw meaningful connections in traditional college content materials.

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Micah Iserman Texas Tech University

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Interested in language use, mental representation, and social processes.

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Jessica C. Pittman Texas Tech University

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Jessica C Pittman is a third year graduate student in the Experimental Psychology doctoral program at Texas Tech University. Current interests are in the overlap of cognition and education with a direct focus on note taking.

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Nigel Yeo Texas Tech University

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Nigel Yeo is a senior student at Texas Tech University, pursuing a degree in psychology. He hopes to attend graduate school and become an occupational therapist in the future. His interests include travelling to new places and exploring the United States. His hobbies are playing tennis and piano.

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Ryan C. Campbell Texas Tech University

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Having completed his Ph.D. through the University of Washington's interdisciplinary Individual Ph.D. Program (see bit.ly/uwiphd), Ryan is now a Postdoctoral Research Associate at Texas Tech University. He currently facilitates an interdisciplinary project entitled "Developing Reflective Engineers through Artful Methods." His scholarly interests include both teaching and research in engineering education, art in engineering, social justice in engineering, care ethics in engineering, humanitarian engineering, engineering ethics, and computer modeling of electric power and renewable energy systems.

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Jeong-Hee Kim Texas Tech University

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Jeong-Hee Kim is Chairperson and Professor of Curriculum Studies and Teacher Education in the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at Texas Tech University. Kim is a curriculum theorist, teacher educator, and narrative inquiry methodologist. Her research centers on various epistemological underpinnings of curriculum studies, particularly engaging in hermeneutical excavation of the stories of students and teachers around the notion of Bildung, a human way of developing or cultivating one’s capacity. She received the Faculty Outstanding Researcher Award in 2018 from Texas Tech University, and the Outstanding Publication Award from the American Education Research Association in 2017 for her book, Understanding Narrative Inquiry, published in 2016. She has published numerous articles in journals including Journal of Curriculum Studies, International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education, and Educational Philosophy and Theory.

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Danny D. Reible Texas Tech University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-3188-9709

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Dr. Danny D. Reible is the Donovan Maddox Distinguished Engineering Chair at Texas Tech University. He was previously the Bettie Margaret Smith Chair of Environmental Health Engineering in the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering and the Director of the Center for Research in Water Resources at the University of Texas in Austin. Dr. Reible holds a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the California Institute of Technology, and is a Board Certified Environmental Engineer, a Professional Engineer (Louisiana), and was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2005 for the “development of widely used approaches for the management of contaminated sediments”. His research is focused on the fate, transport, and management of contaminants in the environment and the sustainable management of water resources.

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Abstract

Engineering education is increasingly looking to the liberal arts to broaden and diversify preparation of students for professional careers. The present study involves an elective graduate environmental engineering course that incorporated the arts and humanities. The goal of the course was to develop engineers and technical professionals who would become both more appreciative of and better equipped to address technical, ethical, social, and cultural challenges in engineering through the development of critical and reflective thinking skills and reflective practice in their professional work. A reflective writing assignment was submitted by students following each of fourteen course topics in response to the following question: Reflect on how you might want to apply what you learned to your development as a professional and/or to your daily life. Student responses were classified by human coders using qualitative text analytic methods and their classifications were attempted to be learned by a simple machine classifier. The goal of this analysis was to identify and quantify students’ reflections on prospective behaviors that emerged through participation in the course. The analysis indicated that the primary focus of students’ responses was self-improvement, with additional themes involving reflection, teamwork, and improving the world. The results provide a glimpse into how broadening and diversifying the curriculum might shape students’ thinking in directions that are more considerate of their contributions to their profession and society. In the discussion, we consider the findings from the human and machine assessments and suggest how incorporating AI machine methods into engineering provides new possibilities for engineering pedagogy.

Taraban, R., & Iserman, M., & Pittman, J. C., & Yeo, N., & Campbell, R. C., & Kim, J., & Reible, D. D. (2021, July), Work in Progress: Assessment of Reflective Thinking in Graduate Engineering Students: Human and Machine Methods Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://strategy.asee.org/38124

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