Using the Cognitive Apprenticeship Model to Develop Educational Learning Modules: An Example from Statics
2015 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition Proceedings
We present a pedagogical model that incorporates cognitive apprenticeship and computational modeling as a means for overcoming engineering students' conceptual difficulties. Apprenticeship is rooted in helping novices become experts through guided learning. The pedagogical model focuses on the cognitive and metacognitive aspects in achieving expertise. These aspects are central to the design of a learning environment of the cognitive apprenticeship model. The cognitive apprenticeship model's
... ticeship model's framework has four dimensions: types of knowledge required for expertise, teaching methods to promote its development, sequencing of the learning activities, and the social characteristics of the learning environment. Using these dimensions, we developed educational learning modules to guide understanding of individual, difficult concepts in engineering statics, namely moment of a force, truss analysis, and second moment of area. Students' attention is directed to the nuances of a difficult concept through qualitative and quantitative activities. The quantitative computational modeling activities are integral to each educational learning module. When students formulate computational models, they develop understanding by engaging in the theory and observations of a situation. Students complete each educational learning module in about three hours outside of class after they have been introduced to the individual topic in lecture(s) and completed a series of homework problems. As students complete an activity, they are encouraged to refer to its corresponding grading rubric, which conveys expectations of quality across different levels of expertise. Our pedagogical model can be used to design learning modules for difficult concepts in other STEM subjects.