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The Role of Service-Learning: Improving Engineering Education

The Role of Service-Learning: Improving Engineering Education

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The Role of Service-Learning: Improving Engineering Education

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  1. The Role of Service-Learning: Improving Engineering Education Adam Carberry Doctoral Candidate in Engineering Education Tufts University August 4, 2009

  2. Study Design Quantitative study of undergraduate engineering students participating in 3 service-learning programs: Subjects: Service-Learners vs. Non-Service Learners Domain: Engineering Design Constructs to Measure: • Engineering Design Self-Efficacy • Engineering Epistemological Beliefs • Engineering Design Understanding

  3. Why Self-Efficacy, Epistemological Beliefs, and Understanding? (Bandura, 1997; Pintrich & Schunk, 1996) Conative Domain Self-efficacy is an individuals’ judgment or belief of their capability to organize and execute courses of action required to attain designated types of performances Epistemological beliefs are beliefs that individuals hold about the nature of knowledge (certainty & simplicity) and the nature of knowing (source & justification) Cognitive Domain Understanding is what an individual is capable of comprehending

  4. Engineering Design Self-Efficacy High Self-Efficacy • are confident about their engineering design abilities. • are highly motivated by engineering design tasks. • seek and expect to succeed in an engineering design challenge. • have low anxiety levels toward engineering design. Low Self-Efficacy • are not confident about their engineering design abilities. • are not motivated by engineering design tasks. • do not expect to succeed in an engineering design challenge. • have low anxiety levels toward engineering design. (Carberry, Lee, & Ohland, 2009; in press)

  5. Engineering Design Self-Efficacy (Carberry, Lee, & Ohland, 2009; in press) Experience is a determining criterion of engineering design self-efficacy: • High Self-Efficacy – individuals with engineering degrees • Intermediate Self-Efficacy – current learners of engineering design • Low Self-Efficacy – individuals with little or no experience with engineering design

  6. Hypothesis Service-learners are more apt to have higher engineering design self-efficacy due in part to their opportunity to apply the abstract knowledge they learn about engineering design in the classroom to a real world problem.

  7. Engineering Epistemological Beliefs Sophisticated • Fluid • A highly interrelated set of concepts • Generated by everyone • Personally established Naïve • Fixed • An accumulation of facts • Generated by by external authorities • Absorbed (Hofer & Pintrich, 1997; Schommer, 1990)

  8. Engineering Epistemological Beliefs Experience was NOT shown to be a determining criterion of engineering epistemological beliefs Observed trends: • Experience in many cases was detrimental to engineering epistemological beliefs • Younger respondents exhibited more naïve beliefs

  9. Hypothesis Service-learners are more apt to have more sophisticated engineering epistemological beliefs because of their opportunity to experience the real world.

  10. Engineering Design Understanding Engineering understanding requires assessment of how to perform tasks, knowledge of facts, and knowledge of when and how to bring appropriate skills and facts to bear on a particular problem (Sheppard et al., 2008) Previous research has used verbal responses: • Verbal Protocol Analysis (Atman & Bursic, 1996; Atman & Bursic, 1998; Cross, 2001; Cross & Clayburn Cross, 1998) • Thinking Aloud Pair Problem Solving (Lochhead & Whimbey, 1987) • Video-based Interaction Analysis (Brereton, Greeno, Leifer, Lewis, & Linde, 1993; Tang & Leifer, 1991)

  11. Pilot Hands-on VPA(Carberry, Lemons, Swan, Jarvin, & Rogers, 2009) 8 Tufts University Students 5 service learners (2f, 3m) • 3 STOMP • 3 EWB 3non-service learners (1f, 2m) Data • Video and audio think-aloud recordings • Student artifacts: sketches and a prototype

  12. Hands-on Design Task “Clients at the local rehabilitation center have diverse disabilities and physical challenges. For example, clients may have an amputated limb, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, or they may have had a stroke. However, one difficulty they all face is opening a jar with one hand. As an engineering student, what can you do to help?”

  13. Design Task Options LOOK AT JAR VARIABLES READ ABOUT STROKE VICTIMS REVIEW BASIC MECHANICS READ ABOUT AMPUTEES READ TECHNICAL DESCRIPTIONS OF PROTOTYPE JAR OPENERS LOOK AT JAR VARAIBLES BUILD A PROTOTYPE REVIEW 1st PRINCIPLES OF PHYSICS LOOK AT OTHER MODELS LOOK AT AESTHETIC OPTIONS TALK TO JIM AN AMPUTEE VIEW UNNECESSARY NONSENSE TALK TO MARY A STROKE VICITIM INVESTIGATE ERGONOMIC OPTIONS VIEW PROTYTOYPING MATERIALS TALK TO A JAR MANUFACTURERER

  14. VPA Pilot Results(Lemons, Carberry, Swan, Jarvin, & Rogers, 2009) (Krueger & Cross, 2006) Non-Service Learners • Less organized design approach “I can’t really picture in my head how it would all stick together” – Mary • Unable to cull the important information efficiently “I might talk to the jar manufacturer. I wouldn’t know what to get out of it though” – Mary looking for what to do after view other models • Lower priority of concern for the client “I would probably want before, I’d spend my energy and efforts actually building a prototype, I would probably want to talk to [the clients] to ensure that it’s something that they can do.” – Thomas 20 minutes into the task * Solution and information oriented

  15. VPA Pilot Results(Lemons, Carberry, Swan, Jarvin, & Rogers, 2009) (Krueger & Cross, 2006) Service Learners • Organized design approach “ I am one that likes to do planning first” – Patricia as she organizes the activities into piles • High level of concern for the client “…the first thing we want, that you should know, is to learn about your client before you decide to design anything” – Samuel • Clear ability to identify what is relevant “…not too worried about that cause I know how that works” – Patricia referring to the “Review Physics” cards * Process and knowledge oriented

  16. Hypothesis Service-learners are more apt to solve design problems in a knowledge or process fashion because of their service-learning experience; non-service learners are more apt to focus on the solution and gathering information because of their educational training

  17. Conclusion Triangulate the 3 data sources to look for trends amongst: • Service-Learners (including individual programs) • Non-Service Learners • Genders Additional data sources: • Personality • Learning Outcomes

  18. Collaborators: Chris Swan Chris Rogers Gay Lemons Linda Jarvin Bill Oakes Russell Faux This study is supported by the National Science Foundation’s Innovations in Engineering Education, Curriculum, and Infrastructure Program, Grant No. EEC-0835981. email: adam.carberry@tufts.edu