World Engineering Education Forum
International Federation of Engineering Education Societies
The Global Engineering Deans Council
15th – 18th November 2021 | Madrid, Spain
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WS183: Developing Student-Centered Responsibility for their Own Learning; A Metacognitive Approach
Arguably, student responsibility is one of the biggest factors in student success. Unfortunately, it is one of the success skills that is tacidly assumed students will acquire it on their own. Further, students and faculty rarely have a common understanding of what being responsible means. To further complicate the issue people describe responsibility in terms of specific actions, e.g., turning a paper in on time, attending classes. What they do not do is have a methodology that can be used to determine if an individual is taking responsibility or not.
This workshop will provide participants with clarity on what is meant by taking responsibility, specific methods to determine if one is taking responsibility, and clear, simple methodologies to train students in how to take responsibility for their own learning. These methods can be integrated into any class without loss of learning of the class subject matter. (Note, to increase student and faculty buy in, the methods rely on common engineering tools such as the engineering design process—although here it is used as a meta-cognitive learning tool). Opening
• Introduction of the presenter and his journey.
• Guided Activity—What’s your situation and why it doesn’t change! Yet there is hope and it comes from students acting like college students but in a new way.
B. Developing a common sense of responsibility
• What is student responsibility?
• Activity—audience creating and presenting a skit that demonstrates the basic and common fundamentals of responsibility. The skit emulates faculty’s impressions of student behaviors, beliefs, and attitudes—typically quite hilarious yet enlightening.
• Summarizing and creating a common vocabulary.
C. Developing a common picture of what happens when students are not taking responsibility:
• What is meant when we say students are not being responsible?
• Activity—audience creating and presenting a skit that demonstrates the basic and common fundamentals of a lack of responsibility.
• Summarizing and creating a common vocabulary.
D. Creating a clear picture:
• The audience will synthesize the information in the previous 2 segments and create a clear picture of student responsibility verses lack of responsibility.
E. Introducing the specifics of the method:
• All the methods are solidly grounded in engineering tools that are commonly taught and used in engineering education. This helps create buy-in from students and engineering faculty. 2) The methods require little class time for instruction.
F. Practicing what you preach and understanding the subtleties of the method:
• The audience will practice utilizing their learning in simulated scenario and present experiences.
• Issues and clarifications will be addressed.
• Practical implementation elements will be detailed and practiced.
• Specific details on full implementation will be presented.
G. Developing Lessons:
• The audience will explore their own particular issues and opportunities for implementation at their school.
H. Post workshop support:
• Support for participants implementing the methods will be provided.
Dr. Shull has developed a system of exercises that are designed to develop students’ understanding of the meaning of student responsibility. This method is by design experiential and typically implemented throughout a given course. The actual dedicated class time required for implementation is minimal. The remainder of the learning occurs concurrent with learning of the engineering topical material of the course. The method utilizes a peer mentoring/reflection process whereby students train each other throughout the day-to-day class interactions.
The pilot work was supported by an NSF grant and produced significant result related to students actively taking responsibility for their own learning. Dr. Shull has utilized these methods in all of his engineering classes. They have been adopted by our engineering and engineering technology programs. Dr. Shull has presented this material at numerous venues in the US and internationally. Currently, he is working with a group of universities interested in this work.
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