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Appears in:
Pages: 2988-2997
Publication year: 2009
ISBN: 978-84-613-2953-3
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 16-18 November, 2009
Location: Madrid, Spain

EVOLUTION OF PRE-REQUISITE KNOWLEDGE IN ENGINEERING: CONTENT AND SKILL TRAJECTORIES (EARLY RESULTS)

D. Benson

Kettering University (UNITED STATES)
In engineering education there are a number of central concepts and skills that form threads which connect one content area to another within a discipline. These threads form the core of an engineering education and are the scaffold upon which all future knowledge is built. An incomplete understanding in any of one of these concepts at an early stage in a student’s education can lead to a cascade of failures or difficulties that resonate throughout their education. Research is currently underway to assess student abilities and growth in these key threads to inform the development of materials that will reinforce student knowledge and build lasting expertise.

The current research has identified and mapped a number of central content and skill trajectories that are present in engineering education, including both science content/skills and support skills (e.g. ethics, writing, logical reasoning). Key content and skills have been assessed along these trajectories for selected classes. Common student errors within these assessments have been identified and classified to generate a profile of the error modes for each topic and validation of the error modes has been conducted through independent evaluation and student interviews. Trends and insight in to student difficulties with pre-requisite knowledge and an early curricular profile of issues with pre-requisite knowledge in Mechanical Engineering will be presented.

Knowledge about the modes of failure (error) and the overall success or failure of content and skill trajectories will permit focused attention on teaching practices and the development and assessment of activities and learning materials aimed at developing long-term improvement of the student knowledge base.

Through this research we are beginning to gain an understanding of student performance at various stages of a content or skill trajectory so that we can examine the structure of the curriculum to determine where learning breaks down and where transfer breaks down. By understanding these aspects and connecting this information with knowledge about how people learn we will be able to re-engineer curriculum trajectories that are more comprehensive and encompass techniques that enhance acquisition of knowledge, improve pattern identification, help conceptualize knowledge (context), and enhance the transfer of knowledge to new contexts (other classes, graduate school, business, etc.).
@InProceedings{BENSON2009EVO,
author = {Benson, D.},
title = {EVOLUTION OF PRE-REQUISITE KNOWLEDGE IN ENGINEERING: CONTENT AND SKILL TRAJECTORIES (EARLY RESULTS)},
series = {2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2009 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-613-2953-3},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Madrid, Spain},
month = {16-18 November, 2009},
year = {2009},
pages = {2988-2997}}
TY - CONF
AU - D. Benson
TI - EVOLUTION OF PRE-REQUISITE KNOWLEDGE IN ENGINEERING: CONTENT AND SKILL TRAJECTORIES (EARLY RESULTS)
SN - 978-84-613-2953-3/2340-1095
PY - 2009
Y1 - 16-18 November, 2009
CI - Madrid, Spain
JO - 2nd International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2009 Proceedings
SP - 2988
EP - 2997
ER -
D. Benson (2009) EVOLUTION OF PRE-REQUISITE KNOWLEDGE IN ENGINEERING: CONTENT AND SKILL TRAJECTORIES (EARLY RESULTS), ICERI2009 Proceedings, pp. 2988-2997.
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