Representation guidance with abstract and contextualized representation: Effects on engineering learning performance in technological literacy education

Gamze Ozogul, Amy Johnson, Martin Reisslein, Kirsten R. Butcher

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

An experiment explored the impact of explicit guidance (instruction) on the use of abstract symbols or life-like depictions to represent engineering problems. The study examines the effects of guiding learners in the use of abstract or contextualized representations of engineering problems. The study had a 2 (representation conditions: abstract text with abstract diagrams (AA) and contextualized text with contextualized diagram (CC)) x 2 (no guidance or guidance) design. Instruction was provided by a computer-based module that taught the analysis of parallel electrical circuits by using the respective combination of representation and guidance/no guidance on the representation of the electrical circuit components. Among conditions without guidance, the AA representation had significantly higher near-transfer posttest scores compared to the CC representation. These results indicate that novices to engineering (such as high school students and undergraduate non-engineering majors that are unfamiliar with the abstract engineering symbols), learn better with abstract symbol representations than with representations with life-like depictions of engineering system components. Comparing guidance conditions to no guidance conditions revealed that the CC representation with guidance significantly outperformed the CC representation without guidance. This result indicates that guidance on the use of life-like depictions to represent electrical circuit components aided in generating problem solving schemata that allowed the learners to more effectively transfer their problem solving skill to novel contextualized problem settings.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication119th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition
PublisherAmerican Society for Engineering Education
ISBN (Print)9780878232413
StatePublished - 2012
Event119th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - San Antonio, TX, United States
Duration: Jun 10 2012Jun 13 2012

Other

Other119th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition
CountryUnited States
CitySan Antonio, TX
Period6/10/126/13/12

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)

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    Ozogul, G., Johnson, A., Reisslein, M., & Butcher, K. R. (2012). Representation guidance with abstract and contextualized representation: Effects on engineering learning performance in technological literacy education. In 119th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition American Society for Engineering Education.