Research Publications

February 21, 2020

Challenges to assessing motivation in MOOC learners: An application of an argument-based approach

While data for examining learner activity are abundant, there are relatively little frameworks for principled interpretation of the behavior. Through application of Kane's argument-based approach to assessment validation, the authors conducted several analyses to combine motivation assessment with online behavioral data for further validating inferences made about MOOC learners.
February 14, 2020

Multiple Representations in Computational Thinking Tasks: A Clinical Study of Second-Grade Students

Computational thinking requires high cognitive load as students work to manage multiple tasks in their problem-solving environment. Through research in K-2 classrooms on computational thinking, we noticed that students lack the representational fluency needed to move from one form to another—such as moving from physical to more abstract representations. Therefore, the following research question was studied: How do second-grade students use and translate among representations to solve computational thinking tasks using the robot mouse game? To address this, we employed a task-based interview approach with three second-grade students who were engaged in four computational thinking tasks using the Code and Go Robot Mouse Coding Activity Set developed by Learning Resources.
February 7, 2020

Person or thing oriented: A comparative study of individual differences of first‐year engineering students and practitioners

Engineering practice is meant to advance the human condition, yet curricula do not appear to fully promote the human‐centered philosophy of engineering in implementation. The educational system may inadvertently signal to students that engineering is a career choice better suited for those preferring to work with things rather than people. This framing of the profession prompts questions regarding student interests when compared to those of practicing engineers and how such interests become concrete through education and introduction into the profession.
December 16, 2019

Evaluating the effectiveness of an affordable and portable laboratory kit for an introductory control systems course. Advances in Engineering Education

Laboratory kits allow students to take home laboratory equipment to complete experiments on their own time. Because of the lower cost, laboratory kits expand access to hands-on experiences for online courses and to budget strapped campuses. Although students like laboratory kits, no previous studies compared student learning objectives on assignments using laboratory kits with existing laboratory equipment. We conducted a quasi-experiment to compare students’ achievement of learning and their experience in the instructional laboratory for two offerings of an introductory control systems course. Half of the laboratory sections in each offering used the existing equipment, while the other sections used a new kit.
October 30, 2018

Engineering Education Research Podcast Launches

We are so excited to share with you that Dr. Ruth Steveler's podcasts are now available on iTunes! Steveler's "Research Briefs" podcasts aim to expand the boundaries of engineering education research by exploring new frameworks, new methods, and new findings with the researchers who created them.
January 29, 2018

AI for Assessment

Artificial intelligence (AI) as an assessment tool, can be applied to learn how an instructor grades a problem. Based on a sample set of students’ responses, the instructor evaluates it and the system creates a computer model incorporating rules it has inferred about the instructor’s grading decisions.
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