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Application Of Hierarchical Codes To Build Towards Critical Thinking In A Materials Science Laboratory Course

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Title:
Application Of Hierarchical Codes To Build Towards Critical Thinking In A Materials Science Laboratory Course
Series Title:
19th Annual Undergraduate Research Symposium
Creator:
Krause, Ilana
Language:
English
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Undetermined

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Center for Undergraduate Research
Center for Undergraduate Research
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Conference papers and proceedings
Poster

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Abstract:
Critical Thinking is a primary learning outcome that many higher-education institutions struggle to foster in classrooms and laboratory settings. This project seeks to measure critical thinking through student recognition of elements that define critical thinking in Materials Engineering, to measure the success of embedding these elements in student laboratory activities, and to evaluate student actions/reactions to these activities. For this study, students enrolled in the Sophomore level laboratory course take on-line surveys to see if they can identify aspects of critical thinking (CT) in lab procedures. Free-response questions probe varying aspects of CT to understand and evaluate student perspectives. This study will verify the application of codes previously developed to expand the understanding of what critical thinking means in engineering, how specific activities can build CT, and whether students recognize activities that require CT elements. Currently, the coding system for CT identification is being restructured to a hierarchical organization that involves parent/sibling/child nodes. This will allow for a fundamental understanding of current CT schemas of students to develop activities that address lapses in critical thinking abilities. Results indicate that activities can be mapped for CT using codes, and that the cognitive complexity of codes are reflected within the lab experiments. ( en )
General Note:
Research authors: Ilana Krause, Nancy Ruzycki - University of Florida
General Note:
University Scholars Program
General Note:
Faculty Mentor: Critical Thinking is a primary learning outcome that many higher-education institutions struggle to foster in classrooms and laboratory settings. This project seeks to measure critical thinking through student recognition of elements that define critical thinking in Materials Engineering, to measure the success of embedding these elements in student laboratory activities, and to evaluate student actions/reactions to these activities. For this study, students enrolled in the Sophomore level laboratory course take on-line surveys to see if they can identify aspects of critical thinking (CT) in lab procedures. Free-response questions probe varying aspects of CT to understand and evaluate student perspectives. This study will verify the application of codes previously developed to expand the understanding of what critical thinking means in engineering, how specific activities can build CT, and whether students recognize activities that require CT elements. Currently, the coding system for CT identification is being restructured to a hierarchical organization that involves parent/sibling/child nodes. This will allow for a fundamental understanding of current CT schemas of students to develop activities that address lapses in critical thinking abilities. Results indicate that activities can be mapped for CT using codes, and that the cognitive complexity of codes are reflected within the lab experiments. - Center for Undergraduate Research, University Scholars Program

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University of Florida
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Copyright Ilana Krause. Permission granted to University of Florida to digitize and display this item for non-profit research and educational purposes. Any reuse of this item in excess of fair use or other copyright exemptions requires permission of the copyright holder.

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Critical Thinking is a primary learning outcome that many higher education institutions struggle to foster in classrooms and laboratory settings. How activities conducted in the classroom connect to critical thinking has not been established. This study will relate previous findings on how people describe CT to specific activities in the classroom, and expand the understanding of what critical thinking means in engineering. This allows for an understanding of how specific activities can build CT, and whether students recognize activities that require CT elements. Ilana Krause, Amy Bumbaco, Elliot Douglas, and Nancy Ruzycki Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Florida Application of Hierarchical Codes to Build Towards Critical Thinking in a Materials Science Laboratory Course For this study, Sophomore level laboratory students take on line surveys as part of normal course process related to laboratory curriculum activities. Developed codes were applied to responses in order to probe frequency and type of critical thinking (CT) aspects Open ended survey questions given to students are shown below. In what ways did you use problem solving in this lab? Provide a specific example? In what ways has this lab caused you to think beyond the specific procedures and approaches you were taught? Provide a specific example? Give a specific example of a conversation you had that helped you to understand some aspect of this lab on a deeper level. Make sure to list who the conversation was with (partner, fellow student, TA, Instructor....) What have you learned about yourself as a result of doing this lab? Provide a specific example. Initially, a node hierarchy was developed, based on prior work [2], to identify aspects of critical thinking in student responses that were coded within the NVIVO program. This hierarchy was organized into Parent, Sibling and Child codes, a portion of which are shown below. Table 1 (above) Shows initial organization of codes in a hierarchy developed by Amy Bumbaco, et al [1]. Background Initial Model Methods The current model was developed based on the initial node hierarchy in combination with aspects of ABET Criteria [4] and Systems Thinking [5]. By mapping the information in a cyclic manner, it is communicated that critical thinking is a process that has no finite end, but continues to build upon itself. Figure 2 (above) Newest coding structure visualization that integrates levels of thinking within broader categories Current Model Models that define Critical Thinking have been developed by a variety of researchers and are available for others to view and apply [1]. These various models address important aspects of Critical Thinking and the Problem S olving process, but lack the ability to track changes in Critical T hinking over the course of time. This new model development looks to integrate the following aspects of critical thinking in order to provide a unique way to document changes in thinking over time: Figure 1 (above) Aspects that differentiate the model developed from other well known models. Importance of Model Parent Child Sibling A. Disciplinary Practices Aa. Figuring out why or how 1.Figuring out why or how something happened Ab. On going adapting 2.Evaluating during the whole process (over the course of time) Ac. Solving problems 3.Solving towards reaching an end goal Ad. Starting process and solving roadblocks 4.Evaluating the problem and deciding (here and now, discrete event) Ae. Synthesizing, arguing and supporting 5.Finding and understanding theme 6.Forming argument and supporting it A. How to do critical thinking Gaining deeper understanding 7.Making sure data is physically meaningful 8.Understanding on a deeper level 9.Understanding meaning of results Information literacy 10.Finding knowledge and knowing what is needed Making connections 11.Applying from one context to a different one 14.Using past information to inform current work 14b. Taking information and relating it to self understanding Using reasoning 15.Explaining reasoning and thinking logically 16.Meeting outside of criteria and constraints a) time constraint b) material constraint [ 1] Critical Thinking Learning Models. ( 2015). Retrieved from http ://www.criticalthinking.org/pages /critical thinking learning models/704 [2] Bumbaco Amy E. Critical Thinking in Engineering and Humanities Students and Faculty (2015). University of Florida, Gainesville FL [3] R. J. Marzano and A. Others. Dimensions of Thinking: A Framework for Curriculum and Instruction (1988). Office of Educational Research and Improvement (ED), Washington, DC [4] Shuman, L. J., Besterfield Sacre M. and McGourty Can They Be Taught? Can They Be Assessed ?. Journal of Engineering Education 94: 41 55. [5] Moti Frank, Engineering Systems Thinking: Cognitive Competencies of Successful Systems Engineers (2012), Procedia Computer Science, Volume 8 Pages 273 278. A special thanks to the University of Florida University Scholars Program for research funding and support. Acknowledgements Principal Investigator: Dr. Nancy Ruzycki nruzycki@mse.ufl.edu University of Florida 2018 Results for Initial Model The responses above support the initial coding model. The coding model was able to map activities to aspects of Critical Thinking, but did not adequately address levels of student thinking. Results showed more complex activities elicited a larger range of coding responses. Results indicate the Current Model maps not only critical thinking aspects, but also complexity of thought, as shown in the example below: Results for Current Model Figure 3 (to the right ): Differentiates coding stripes by level of critical thinking developed based on the new coding system. Refinement of Initial Model After analyzing student responses with the initial model, gaps in coding were identified. A complete refinement was needed to address varying complexities of student responses. Levels of critical thinking abilities were developed from literature reviews on learning theories to show complexity of thought that can be seen within student responses and are mapped in Figure 2 [3]. e These levels are broken down to: Declarative Descriptive to task at hand (individual) Contextual Descriptive to broader unit goal (local) [ example: in order to complete this experiment we had to] Conceptual Higher level understanding (global) Holistic Understanding bigger picture [how it ties to life as an engineer] Differentiation between complexity of thoughts Ability to collect data over the course of 2+ years Specific survey responses Open Ended Laboratory Activities Coding Hierarchies defining aspects of Critical Thinking