2011 Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE)
Don't give me the theory, just show me how to do it! Have your students ever said that? Theory is what allows someone to know why something works and whether you might expect it to work in a new context. Education theory does the same, yet the theories and principles are difficult to gather, digest and apply. This workshop is intended to introduce a small but effective set of learning theories. You will not be an expert, but you should be able to develop proposal ideas that are founded on
... theories. As energy technology evolves to meet demands for development and ecological sustainability, engineers need to have up-to-date skills and knowledge to meet the creative challenges our energy problems demand. However, current engineering thermodynamics textbooks are grounded in historical developments of the steam engine in Europe and subsequent fossil fuel technologies. A set of course modules has been designed to take a fresh look at the engineering knowledge and skills required for current and emerging energy challenges. Stand-alone modules facilitate integration with existing courses and curricula and are adaptable to a variety of settings. Modules employ innovative engineering pedagogies that foster student engagement. Because energy engineers will need the full range of capabilities outlined in ABET's learning outcomes, modules address outcomes not often addressed in conventional thermodynamics courses: design within realistic social and technical constraints, professional ethics, effective communication, understanding social contexts of engineering, lifelong learning, and a knowledge of contemporary issues. Modules also focus on policy analysis for energy technology selection, and incorporate contributions from the global South. The mini-workshop will demonstrate the use of the modules in core engineering courses. Participants will individually design a plan for implementing a module of their choice in one of their courses. Asynchronous online discussion is used to facilitate communication between instructor and student, and also among fellow students. Although this communication tool is a frequently-used feature of e-learning systems, there is still a limited number of studies evaluating the cognitive implications of this online discussion. This study aims to evaluate students' discourse in online discussion by using a cognitive framework analysis. The goal is to identify factors that influence the construction of discussion patterns from a cognitive perspective. The discussion topics are selected based on several criteria, including the content of discussion topics, the person who initiates the discussion, the number of discussion threads, and the type of selected courses.