ERIC Number: ED439938
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 2000-Apr-29
Approaches to Learning in a Second Year Chemical Engineering Course.
Case, Jennifer; Gunstone, Richard; Lewis, Alison
Previous findings from the study within which this research is located had uncovered students' approaches to learning in the context of a second year chemical engineering course. Using an analysis of students' reflections on their experience, the study has shown the existence of three approaches to learning in this context: an 'information-based' approach in which the intention is to gather and memorize definitions and formulae; an 'algorithmic' approach, in which the focus is on being able to do numerical calculations; and a 'conceptual approach', in which the main emphasis is on understanding, similar to the original formulation of the 'deep' approach (Marton and Saljo, 1976). In the research presented in this paper, students' responses to five conceptual probes based on a recycle system were analyzed, as well as their responses to a question regarding the purposes of related worked examples that were presented in class. This research supported the previous findings regarding the validity of the approaches that had been identified, gave an illustration of how these approaches manifested 'in action', and provided further evidence of the approaches used by individual students. (Contains 16 references.) (Author/CCM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (73rd, New Orleans, LA, April 28-May 1, 2000). This paper is based on Ph.D. work in progress.