Understanding perceptions of reflection among engineering educators and students

Kristine R. Csavina, Adam Carberry, Cherrylynne R. Nethken

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    2 Scopus citations

    Abstract

    Reflection is an implicit professional skill for engineers that is embedded within the engineering curriculum, but rarely explicitly taught to or discussed with students. A sample of 114 students enrolled in an engineering capstone design course and 73 engineering educators attending the 2016 Capstone Design Conferencewere asked, "Howdo you define reflection?" to shed light on how engineering education stakeholders perceive reflection. Responses were coded utilizing three categorical definitions of reflection: (1) reflection-on-action, (2) reflection-in-action, and (3) reflection-then-action. Results demonstrate that nearly halfofall student and educator participantsinthe sample view reflection strictly a sanopportunity to look back on an action. The remaining two categories of reflection, varied between educators and students with a larger percentage of students viewing reflection as a process and a larger percentage of educators seeing reflection as impacting future actions. These findings suggest that a slight disconnect exists between the beliefs of students and engineering educators. Both groups could benefit from a better understanding of what reflection is, which could result in an appreciation gain for regular practice of reflective activities.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)1534-1542
    Number of pages9
    JournalInternational Journal of Engineering Education
    Volume33
    Issue number5
    StatePublished - 2017

    Keywords

    • Engineering design
    • Perceptions
    • Reflection

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Education
    • Engineering(all)

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