NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ1136425
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-2157-9288
Reasoning Strategies in the Context of Engineering Design with Everyday Materials
Worsley, Marcelo; Blikstein, Paulo
Journal of Pre-College Engineering Education Research, v6 n2 Article 4 p57-74 2016
"Making" represents an increasingly popular label for describing a form of engineering design. While making is growing in popularity, there are still open questions about the strategies that students are using in these activities. Assessing and improving learning in making/ engineering design contexts require that we have a better understanding of where students' ideas are coming from and a better way to characterize student progress in open-ended learning environments. In this article, we use a qualitative analysis of students' responses (N = 13) in order to identify the origins of their ideas. Four strategies emerged from this analysis: unexplained reasoning; materials-based reasoning; example-based reasoning; and principle-based reasoning. We examine key characteristics of each strategy and how each strategy relates to learning and expertise through in-depth case studies. Furthermore, we identify how these four strategies are a complement to prior work on analogical problem solving and creativity, and offer a number of unique contributions that are particularly relevant for engineering education. Finally, we include two coding schemes that can be used to classify students' responses. Studying reasoning strategies in this way is a fruitful means for characterizing student learning in complex learning environments. Moreover, understanding reasoning strategies impacts the nature of student' teacher discussions and informs how to help students progress most effectively.
Purdue University Press. Stewart Center Room 370, 504 West State Street, West Lafayette, IN 47907. Tel: 800-247-6553; Fax: 419-281-6883; e-mail: pupress@purdue,edu; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education; Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A