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ERIC Number: EJ1076090
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2012
Pages: 24
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1941-1766
The Critical Incident Technique: An Effective Tool for Gathering Experience from Practicing Engineers
Hanson, James H.; Brophy, Patrick D.
Advances in Engineering Education, v3 n1 Win 2012
Not all knowledge and skills that educators want to pass to students exists yet in textbooks. Some still resides only in the experiences of practicing engineers (e.g., how engineers create new products, how designers identify errors in calculations). The critical incident technique, CIT, is an established method for cognitive task analysis. It is especially effective for accessing implicit knowledge which exists in a person's unconscious and is therefore not readily accessible. Such knowledge is often referred to as "experience". The five steps to the critical incident technique are 1) Identify your objectives, 2) Make plans and set specifications, 3) Collect the data, 4) Analyze the data, and 5) Interpret the data and disseminate the results. This manuscript presents detailed recommendations on how to conduct a CIT study; therefore, it can serve as a "how to" manual for educators who want to obtain experiences from practitioners in order to provide those experiences to students as knowledge and skills useful to their professional careers. This manuscript also includes details of an example application of CIT with lessons learned.
American Society for Engineering Education. 1818 N Street NW, Washington, DC 20036. Tel: 412-624-6815; Fax: 412-624-1108; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: DUE-0341212