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Discipline-Based Education Research: Understanding and Improving Learning in Undergraduate Science and Engineering
Abstract
Engineering education research (EER) has been on the fast track since 2004 with an exponential rise in the number of Ph.D.s awarded and the establishment of new programs, even entire EER departments. The National Research Council’s Discipline-Based Education Research (DBER) report (National Research Council, 2012) captures the state-of-the-art advances in our understanding of engineering and science student learning and highlights commonalities with other science-based education research programs. The DBER report is the consensus analysis of experts in undergraduate education research in physics, chemistry, biology, geosciences, astronomy, and engineering. The study committee, chaired by Susan Singer, also included higher education researchers, learning scientists, and cognitive psychologists. A central aspect of the DBER report is the focus on and application of research in the education, learning, and social-behavioral sciences to science and engineering curricula design and teaching methods. Froyd, Wankat, and Smith (2012) identified five major shifts in engineering education in the past 100 years: 1. A shift from hands-on and practical emphasis to engineering science and analytical emphasis 2. A shift to outcomes-based education and accreditation 3. A shift to emphasizing engineering design 4. A shift to applying education, learning, and social-behavioral sciences research 5. A shift to integrating information, computational, and communications technology in education
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  • Cited By (276)
Ernest L. Kern2
Estimated H-index: 2
,
John R. Carpenter4
Estimated H-index: 4
A low motivational climate is characteristic of many introductory, general-education science courses at the university level. It has been well established that student motivation in a learning experience is, in large part, determined by the affective responses of the students to that experience. To measure the effect of field activities on the affective responses of students in this study, very different approaches were used by the same instructor in teaching two sections of earth science labora...
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Michael J. Wittmann1
Estimated H-index: 1
,
Richard N. Steinberg13
Estimated H-index: 13
,
Edward F. Redish27
Estimated H-index: 27
Cited 7 Source
Keith S. Taber34
Estimated H-index: 34
(University of Cambridge)
Abstract The symbolic language of chemistry is extensive, and is used ubiquitously in teaching and learning the subject at secondary level and beyond. This chapter considers how this ‘language’, which acts as such a powerful facilitator of communication for the expert, may often impede effective communication for novice learners. Symbolic representations become second nature to the teacher, being highly integrated with conceptual understanding and subject knowledge. However, such representations...
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Amy C. Englebrecht1
Estimated H-index: 1
,
Joel J. Mintzes1
Estimated H-index: 1
,
Lewis M. Brown2
Estimated H-index: 2
... more
Using concept maps and clinical interviews, we assessed the extent to which undergraduate students restructure their conceptual knowledge at progressively more sophisticated levels over the course of a two-semester lecture-based physical geology sequence. Students completed concept mapping exercises and clinical interviews at regular intervals throughout the two semesters and data indicated that the course did not address integration of concepts into student knowledge domains. Concept maps and c...
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Charles M. Eastman37
Estimated H-index: 37
(Georgia Institute of Technology),
Design Computing1
Estimated H-index: 1
(Georgia Institute of Technology)
Publisher Summary This chapter poses some new questions for design cognition and outlines some paths for studying them. After a short review of design cognition's current status, some issues that seem important to understand if design education is to be improved is brought up. Two broad areas are addressed: learning new representations, their internalization, and automatization, as a foundation for developing design expertise; and learning and recall used to structure a design context, framing t...
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John R. Hayes30
Estimated H-index: 30
,
Herbert A. Simon135
Estimated H-index: 135
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C. R. Ault1
Estimated H-index: 1
Cited 19
  • References (628)
  • Cited By (276)
Bill Cerbin1
Estimated H-index: 1
(University of Wisconsin–La Crosse)
The learning question in the scholarship of teaching and learning focuses on whether the work advances student learning. Although the scope of inquiry may vary, the learning question is, first and foremost, about outcomes—what or how much did students learn. It is typified by these kinds of research questions: Did the new teaching method I used produce better learning than the traditional method I have been using; Did the new assignment I used result in better student performance than the one I ...
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Kristen Bethke Wendell4
Estimated H-index: 4
(University of Massachusetts Boston)
Much of recent elementary engineering curriculum development and research has focused on supporting young students’ design abilities related to the “engineering design process.” However, engineering design also involves attention to physical principles and the modeling of how physical principles affect design outcomes. One of these principles is that energy must be transferred to any designed artifact by its power system, which is specified by the engineering designers, in order for the designed...
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Anne Gardner10
Estimated H-index: 10
(University of Technology, Sydney),
Keith Willey12
Estimated H-index: 12
(University of Technology, Sydney)
Engineering education research is still consolidating as a recognised research area in Australian universities. A current project funded by the US National Science Foundation is attempting to develop a taxonomy for engineering education as a research area. Our project takes a slightly different perspective by using a landscape model to describe engineering education as a knowledge domain that includes a variety of areas of endeavour.
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Nicole LaDue5
Estimated H-index: 5
(Northern Illinois University),
Julie C. Libarkin12
Estimated H-index: 12
(Michigan State University),
Stephen Thomas4
Estimated H-index: 4
(Michigan State University)
The pervasive use of visual representations in textbooks, curricula, and assessments underscores their importance in K-12 science education. For example, visual representations figure prominently in the recent publication of the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS Lead States in Next generation science standards: for states, by states. Achieve, Inc. on behalf of the twenty-six states and partners that collaborated on the NGSS, 2013). Although assessments of the NGSS have yet to be developed,...
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Tamara J. Moore14
Estimated H-index: 14
,
Karl A. Smith30
Estimated H-index: 30
The inaugural issue (Volume 1, Number 1, 2000) of the Journal of STEM Education (then titled Journal of SMET Education) included an article by Nor- man Fortenberry titled "An examination of NSF's programs in undergraduate education." Fortenberry provided a comprehensive summary of the National Science Foundation (NSF) undergraduate education and training programs, which he categorized in five areas for impact in SMET education - curricula and institutions, faculty, courses and laboratories, dive...
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Dennis W. Cheek (Lille Catholic University)
Despite the evident success of current learning systems in Pre-K-12 education, higher education, and workforce training, it is increasingly clear that these systems have failed to keep pace with what we know about how and under what circumstances human beings learn. Learning systems are highly impervious to the kinds of systemic changes required for twenty-first century learners, including reliably learning and mastering new skills and knowledge on demand across their entire lifespans for both w...
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Nancy J. Cooke32
Estimated H-index: 32
,
Margaret L. Hilton4
Estimated H-index: 4
,
Cognitive Board on Behavioral5
Estimated H-index: 5
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