Top PDF Enhancing critical thinking in first year engineering students

Enhancing critical thinking in first year engineering students

Enhancing critical thinking in first year engineering students

It is difficult to teach critical thinking. There must be willingness on the student part to engage the ideas. There is also a need for a setting for the ideas to be developed. Too trivial a problem will not be engaged; too difficult a problem will not allow the student to become involved at the right level. In Experimental Methods the unit has little explicit content beyond the methods, techniques, tools and ideas presented, there are a number of practical sessions, where real data is recorded, real measurement equipment is used and real safety standards must be met. While the cognitive content of these laboratories is not essential to the unit, it is important that the students engage real problems, rather than applying critical thinking to an artificial problem, or something they have seen many times before. The practical sessions are designed to introduce the students to new and diverse experimental situations such as a towing tank (used to physically model a ship’s hydrodynamic behaviour), engines, fluid flow, and electrical equipment, in different laboratory environ-ments. The sessions also have a variety of different measurement techniques and instruments – Venturi tubes, multimeter and oscilloscope, tachometer, mechanical loads, data acquisition using temperature sensors – to measure a diverse range of physical variables. The generic concepts in the unit can then be seen applied to the particular problem at hand. The students are encouraged
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Enhancing Critical Thinking Across The Undergraduate Experience:  An Exemplar From Engineering

Enhancing Critical Thinking Across The Undergraduate Experience: An Exemplar From Engineering

Faculty involvement in the creation of critical thinking assignments across the curriculum and assessment of student responses to the critical thinking assignment can strengthen the students’ development of critical thinking abilities. The significant increase in the seniors’ critical thinking scores from the holistic rubric is consistent with seniors from the same year whose score on the Collegiate Assessment of Academic Proficiency (CAAP) increased 2.4 points from baseline to 68.3, which is especially notable since the national average declined 1.4 points to 60.6 The increase in undergraduate engineering studentscritical thinking abilities is an encouraging finding for the engineering profession and public who need engineers who can think critically. An area for refinement is the interrater reliability that can be enhanced by intentional pairing of raters, providing a review of the rating expectations, limiting the rating session to two hours to reduce fatigue, and ensuring each rater pair scores at least 10 artifacts. The primary limitation of the study was the small, convenience sample. Further improvement and refinement will be achieved as engineering faculty strive to increase the number of courses that intentionally focus on critical thinking.
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Team based learning for first year engineering students

Team based learning for first year engineering students

concluded that there is a clear distinction in students’ contributions which is reflected in their individual scores, enhancing accountability and avoiding problems associated with social loafing. Therefore, peer assessment is an incentive for students to prepare for and participate in the group work (Cestone et al., 2008), assuring accountability which is vital to the TBL. Also, students may appreciate peer review process in order to avoid additional load by having to carry their group members. Although several studies have demonstrated positive correlations regarding peer evaluation, its drawbacks include fostering distrust and high competitiveness (Levine, 2008). The process may also reduce student motivation to participate unless its rules and purpose are clearly communicated and aligned with students’ expectations (Chen and Lou, 2004).
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Current and future teaching of engineering mathematics to civil engineering students : issues relating to empowering and enhancing critical and creative thinking skills

Current and future teaching of engineering mathematics to civil engineering students : issues relating to empowering and enhancing critical and creative thinking skills

The context of acquiring knowledge appears to have a high tendency towards examination-oriented environment with almost 90% of the overall assessment being allocated for tests and examinations. The distribution of percentages seems to suggest knowledge acquired is in such a way to make it useful in the context of a structured exam; as Sternberg and Lubart [28] did mention once the exam is over, so is the use of the knowledge. Knowledge should be taught for use rather than for exams [28]. They further argue that the test students typically take reward them for spitting back what they have learned- or at best, analyzing it in a fairly noncreative way. Such teaching-learning environment does not inculcate healthy development of critical and creative thinking among engineering students who on the contrary need to be prepared to face novel unpredictable problems that call for sound critical and creative analysis.
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Fostering Passion Among First Year Engineering Students

Fostering Passion Among First Year Engineering Students

Attention to affective dimensions of student learning is likely to shed broader light on what it takes to spark interest, sustain attention, and foster passion toward engineering as a career. Furthermore, given that passion for learning may not be as much taught as it is exuded by the professor, a professor’s own self-reflection is both compelling for the individual who teaches 4 and critical to teaching excellence 5 . Students’ perception of passion level of a professor can greatly influence the overall learning process; students’ reflection of professor’s passion was found to be more relevant than professor’s self-reflection and presented in this paper. In the interest of advancing the engineering profession, attracting and retaining the best students, and creating a sustainable workforce of qualified individuals who bring a passion to the profession, this study explored the role of fostering passion among first year engineering students in academic performance.
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Critical Thinking Development  In Undergraduate Engineering Students From Freshman Through Senior Year:  A 3-Cohort Longitudinal Study

Critical Thinking Development In Undergraduate Engineering Students From Freshman Through Senior Year: A 3-Cohort Longitudinal Study

The Paul-Elder framework of critical thinking (Paul & Elder, 2008) chosen for this study has a formal structure and is a discipline-neutral schema (shown in Figure 1). It also addresses the concerns of Bailin and colleagues (Bailin, Case, Coombs & Daniels, 1999). The framework depicts critical thinking by applying Universal Intellectual Standards to the evaluation of typical Elements of Thought, with the goal of developing certain Essential Intellectual Traits in the thinker. The framework allows for the analysis and evaluation of thought, but more importantly, it provides a common vocabulary for those who want to discuss, evaluate, or teach critical thinking. The framework has been discussed specifically in light of engineering education (Paul et al., 2006). The operational focus in the framework is the eight Elements of Thought which clarifies the building blocks of thinking; these building blocks are used by anyone who examines, analyzes, and reflects on intellectual work. These elements are embodied in eight categories of questions crucial to critical thinking: What is the purpose? (of the exercise, discussion or argument), What is the point of view? (of each participant, group or entity), What are the assumptions? (inherent premises of the argument), What are the implications? (of the reasoning or assumptions), What information is missing and needed to reach a conclusion? What inferences are being made? What is the most fundamental concept put forward by participants?, and What is the specific question that is being answered? The Universal Intellectual Standards are the criteria used to evaluate the quality of the thinking. According to the framework, applying the standards to the elements is what transforms common/general/everyday thinking to critical thinking.
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Going Beyond Equations With Disciplinary Thinking In First-Year Physics

Going Beyond Equations With Disciplinary Thinking In First-Year Physics

hysics is a beautiful subject that is at the heart of understanding how the physical world around us works. It also forms the basis of various branches of engineering and technology. It has engaged great minds like Newton, Einstein and Feynman. Yet, most first-year students do not find physics exciting, enjoyable or fun as physicists do; rather, they find physics to be challenging (Oliveira & Oliveira, 2013; Ornek, Robinson, & Haugan, 2008) and difficult to apply in explaining real life phenomena (Moore, 2011). In solving physics problems, students generally remain focused on searching for suitable physics formulas and concentrate on manipulating them to calculate the unknown physical quantity (Ellis & Turner, 2003; Gire, Jones, & Price, 2009; Sherin, 2001; Walsh, Howard, & Bowe, 2007). This approach can partly be attributed to the lack of student engagement in a traditional passive lecture and the resulting difficulty in understanding the physics content. The ineffectiveness of a traditional lecture in which students were not active participants, regardless of the experience or the skill of the instructor in addressing the learning goals of a first-year physics course, has been well documented (McDermott, 1993; Oliveira & Oliveira, 2013). Physics educators have made great strides in tackling student difficulties with the content through a variety of methods involving interactive engagement such as Just-in- Time-Teaching (JiTT; Novak, Gavrin, & Wolfgang, 1999), the Peer Instruction method (Derek Bok Center, 2007; Dufresne, Gerace, Leonard, Mestre, & Wenk, 1996; Mazur, 1997), and the laboratory-based curriculum called Physics by Inquiry (McDermott, Shaffer, & Constantinou, 2000; Lindsey, Hsu, Sadaghiani, Taylor, & Cummings, 2012). The effectiveness of these interactive methods in enhancing understanding of the content has been established through various studies (Crouch & Mazur, 2001; Fagen, Crouch, & Mazur, 2002; Hake, 1998; Lasry, Mazur, & Watkins, 2008; McDermott, Heron, Shaffer, & Stetzer, 2006; Meltzer & Manivannan, 2002). Understanding the content is important, but does not necessarily mean that students think like physicists. For
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First year engineering students: Perceptions of engineers and engineering work amongst domestic and international students

First year engineering students: Perceptions of engineers and engineering work amongst domestic and international students

Educational institutions provide the learning foundation upon which competence for a professional engineering career is established; however, understanding how students position their learning in relation to their future careers is a neglected area of research. Working with first year engineering students in their first semester of study, this study aimed to extend understanding of studentsthinking about competencies, identity, self-efficacy, motivation, career preview, and their aspirations and fears relating to engineering practice. We hoped that opening a career dialogue with students would prompt more career-oriented conversations and questions from students. Finally, we anticipated that by understanding our first year student cohort’s confidence level in relation to the Engineers Australia (EA) graduate competencies (Engineers Australia, 2011), we would be able to proactively bridge some of the gaps between education and graduate competencies. By working across a large student cohort, we hoped to compare responses from domestic and international students to see what, if any, differences emerged. If present, these differences would inform future research, pedagogical practice, and student support. The study extended previous research (Male, 2012; Male & Baillie, 2011; Male & Bennett, in press; Parkinson, 2011) that explored three troublesome and inter- linked threshold concepts critical to engineering student achievement: namely, students’ understanding of the roles of engineers; students’ perception of the value of learning new material; and the need for self-directed learning both as students and into professional life. Later, Male and Bennett’s (2013) investigation of students
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Enhancing Participation of First-year Education Students: Focusing on Life Circumstances

Enhancing Participation of First-year Education Students: Focusing on Life Circumstances

associated with first-year education students who displayed limited participation with their university study activities during Study Period 2 in 2016 and Study Period 1 in 2017 at the JCU Cairns Campus. The study involved ongoing reflective exchange between the CSSO, participating students and a supporting education lecturer. McNiff and Whitehead (2006, p. 256) suggest that participatory research “is a form of research that enables practitioners to learn how they can improve practice, individually and collectively” and Kemmis and McTaggart (2005) perceive practice as reflexive to be studied dialectically through critically examined action of participants. Ethics approval was sought and received from the institutional ethics committee prior to conducting the study, with key considerations being the anonymity provided to the fifteen students who consented to participate. Only narratives of the fifteen students who consented to participate in the study are included in this paper. Georgakopoulou (2006) encourages the inclusion of small narratives of the participants to urge for systematic research that will establish connections between the interactional features of the participants. The research questions that guided the investigation were:
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Contributory Role of Critical Thinking in Enhancing Reading Comprehension Ability of Iranian ESP Students

Contributory Role of Critical Thinking in Enhancing Reading Comprehension Ability of Iranian ESP Students

The present study aimed to investigate the possible relationship between ESP learners’ critical thinking abilities and their reading comprehension. For this purpose, from the population of students studying in different fields of engineering at Amol Islamic Azad University, a sample of 202 ESP participants were selected based on a purposive sampling method. A critical thinking questionnaire was then given whereby the targeted respondents answered the prompts underlying the critical thinking construct. Subsequently, a valid reading comprehension test with an acceptable reliability index was administered and the data were analyzed using the related descriptive and inferential statistics. The findings revealed that there was a robust and positive correlation between ESP learners’ levels of critical thinking ability and their reading comprehension. Moreover, it was found that ESP students regarded as high critical thinkers significantly outperformed those with lower levels of critical thinking on the reading comprehension test. Notably, the results may offer useful implications to both language teachers and English learners indicating that critical thinking strategies play a pivotal role in the reading comprehension process. Keywords: academic text, critical thinking, ESP students, reading comprehension
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The Impact of High-Fidelity Simulation in Enhancing Critical Thinking in Senior Maternity Nursing Students

The Impact of High-Fidelity Simulation in Enhancing Critical Thinking in Senior Maternity Nursing Students

High-fidelitysimulation(HFS)isnow widely used to enhance real-life situations. In a recent study, Lewis and Clark (2011) examined the effects of simulation on use of the nursing process inclinical decisions making and problem solving. The Assessment Technologies Institute (ATI) content mastery series test (maternal newborn module) was used to measure critical thinking.The authors decided that“no definitive conclusions could be drawn as it relates to critical thinking in high-fidelity simulation and more research is needed to explore ways to assess critical thinking and how it relates to simulation” (p.258). Shoemaker, Riermersma, and Perkins (2009) explored the use of high-fidelity simulation to teach cardiopulmonary and intensive care concepts to physical therapy students, a qualitative study (n= 14). The students participated in a 6-week acute care setting clinical experience. The researchers found that simulation helped improve studentscritical thinking skills, especially with regard to patient safety procedure such as physiological changes in vital signs/oxygen saturation and both basic and complex heart related conditions (Shoemaker et al., 2009, p. 16). Other researchers used two different tools, Critical Thinking Disposition Inventory (CCTDI) and California Critical Thinking Skills Test (CCTST), to measure critical thinking on topics such as legal and education issues within the nursing work place.Researchers compared critical thinking dispositions and skills in associate (n=137), baccalaureate (n=102), and RN-BSN programs (n=66). This study found statistically significant positive correlation between CCTDI and CCTST scores (Shin K., Jung, D., Shin, S. & Kim, M. (2006, p. 236). The researchers concluded “that the variations in teaching methods used throughout the curriculum,academic year and educational institutions supported the findings” (Shin et al., 2006, p. 236).
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An Investigation into Engineering ESP Textbooks from Instructors’ Perspective: Critical Thinking in Focus

An Investigation into Engineering ESP Textbooks from Instructors’ Perspective: Critical Thinking in Focus

This study is an attempt to evaluate, through a qualitative design, engineering ESP (English for Specific Purposes) textbooks taught to students of Engineering with a focus on critical thinking skill. A typical ESP textbook taught in Iran consists of 15 units, starting with a text, comprehension, vocabulary, and several production exercises. The purpose of this study is to evaluate ESP textbooks and present four ESP instructors’ opinions with respect to critical thinking as a fundamental need for students of engineering. To this end, a semi-structured interview was exploited to probe the books and through content analysis, instructors’ opinions were categorized and their commonalities were extracted grounded on five main themes of the WGCTA (Watson-Glaser Critical Thinking Appraisal). The results of the content analysis indicated that there was a general consensus among the instructors that these textbooks do not rightly address the needs of learners in terms of enhancing their critical thinking skill; therefore, certain suggestions were provided by the instructors to improve the books. The findings promise implications for reflection in ESP instruction and materials development.
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PREPARING FIRST YEAR ENGINEERING STUDENTS TO BECOME ENGINEERS: THE IMPACT OF AN “INTRODUCTION TO ENGINEERING” COURSE

PREPARING FIRST YEAR ENGINEERING STUDENTS TO BECOME ENGINEERS: THE IMPACT OF AN “INTRODUCTION TO ENGINEERING” COURSE

Table 1 shows the mapping of HPL framework in each activity in the “Introduction to Engineering” course. To determine the activities according to the content, various active learning activities have been injected in ITE course to promote the effectiveness of “Introduction to Engineering” course using the application of learning environment using HPL framework. The first topic in the course, engineering overview, is a cooperative learning activity where students have to find information on engineering from conducting literature review in the library as well as using the internet, and to also interview at least two practicing engineers. These learning activities were designed to fulfill the knowledge-centred criterion. To ensure the assessment centered criterion, progress check was conducted by the instructors of the course mid-way through the assignment for providing feedback on the work done by the students in their teams up to that point. At the end of the team assignment, students write learning and reflection journals which were graded and given feedback from instructors, and wrote as well as receive peer rating and feedback from each other using the plus delta format, where a plus is for good efforts to be continued and delta are improvements to be made. These assessment centred activities will help the students to revised and improve their thinking during the learning process after getting feedback from the lecturer and peers.
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The effect of problem based learning on students’ knowledge acquisition, critical thinking ability, and intrinsic motivation in the polytechnic’s electrical engineering course

The effect of problem based learning on students’ knowledge acquisition, critical thinking ability, and intrinsic motivation in the polytechnic’s electrical engineering course

In regards to the recent polytechnic campaign to improve their teaching and learning system, a Student-Centered Learning approach using PBL is one of the proposed methods (DPE, 2010). However, there have been many challenges in implementing PBL into polytechnic engineering courses. One of these implementation challenges is that polytechnic lecturers were not adequately exposed to PBL, due to a lack of relevant resources and training. Most of the PBL implementation was performed without specific guidance, especially the aspect of procedural design and implementation, and the facilitation of PBL tutorial classes. Consequently, any PBL intervention may result in student frustration and an inability to reach an effective learning stage (Hmelo-Silver, 2004; Artino, 2008). In the first attempts to implement self-designed PBL procedures, it has been difficult to stimulate students’ intrinsic motivation in learning, and thus have an impact on other learning domains including students’ knowledge acquisition and critical thinking ability.
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First Year ESL Students Developing Critical Thinking: Challenging the Stereotypes

First Year ESL Students Developing Critical Thinking: Challenging the Stereotypes

The present study was conducted in the second semester of the academic year of 2010-11 at a university in Hong Kong as part of a larger project on academic writing across disciplines. The two student participants in the present study (Jason and Ryan, both pseudonyms) were among the pool of student participants in the larger project, who were recruited on a voluntary basis. The two students knew each other and indeed shared quite a few courses they were taking in the first year. The initial purpose of the researcher‘s (the researcher, or the present author, is to be referred to as ―I‖ henceforth) having interview meetings with the two was to understand their process of completing written assignments, especially in terms of the process of searching, selecting, and using sources, on a number of first year courses. However, both students frequently took initiatives during the interviews to refer to what they believed about learning and writing in the university, to explain their approaches to their assignments, to compare themselves with some of their peers in course selection, or to discuss how taking certain courses had induced changes in their thinking. I was thus motivated to pursue an understanding in, firstly, the two students‘ beliefs regarding learning and writing in the university, and secondly, how the beliefs may be reflected in their writing, especially in their authorship strategies when writing from sources. As both students were taking an introductory course of political science, I decided to address the second issue noted above by focusing on their essays written in response to the final assignment of the course (hereafter referred to as ―the politics paper‖ assignment).
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Analyticity and Systematicity Students of Mathematics Education on Solving Non routine Problems

Analyticity and Systematicity Students of Mathematics Education on Solving Non routine Problems

Abstract Critical thinking is a skill needed for education. Critical thinking has two main components i.e. ability and critical thinking disposition. The purpose of this research is to describe the disposition of critical thinking of mathematics education students especially analyticity and systematicity component when solving non-routine problem (the problem that is not logical and incomplete). This research is a qualitative descriptive study. The stages in this study are first, students are given three non-routine questions. The second stage, the researchers observed directly and recorded the subject when working on the problem. Third, interviewing the subject related to non-routine problem resolution. Fourth, concluded by describing the disposition of critical thinking of mathematics teacher candidate students, especially analyticity and systematicity components. The results showed that the disposition of critical thinking of first-year college students in mathematics education major is still low. They have not analyzed the problems and answers well and have not written the answers in order and lack of focus when solving non-routine problems. They not yet have a high sense about the irregularities of the problem. It is highly recommended for further research that there is a need for advanced development to improve the disposition of critical thinking students.
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The Role of Critical Thinking in the Educational Progress of Nursing University Students

The Role of Critical Thinking in the Educational Progress of Nursing University Students

Another probable reason for the negative relationship between the critical thinking and the educational progress is that when their score of the critical thinking is higher than their educational progress, they will find less space for their educational progress and hence they rely on memorizing the educational materials in their assessments. There are not many researches that have focused on the importance of the critical thinking in and its effect on the educational progress. Yet most of such studies have confirmed the positive significant role of the critical thinking on the educational progress. In a research titled “the relationship between the progress motivation and the critical thinking”, Samersi (2002) has reported a positive relationship between the
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CRITICAL THINKING FOR TRAINEE TEACHER

CRITICAL THINKING FOR TRAINEE TEACHER

Critical thinking is considered important in the academic fields because it enables one to analyze, evaluate, explain, and restructure their thinking, thereby decreasing the risk of adopting, acting on, or thinking with, a false belief. However, even with knowledge of the methods of logical inquiry and reasoning, mistakes can happen due to a thinker's inability to apply the methods or because of character traits such as egocentrism. Critical thinking includes identification of prejudice, bias, propaganda, self-deception, distortion, wrong information, etc. Some educators believe that schools should focus on teaching their students critical thinking skills and cultivation of intellectual traits.
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Enhancing Critical Thinking in Malaysian Primary School Students through PLS Method

Enhancing Critical Thinking in Malaysian Primary School Students through PLS Method

On March 10, 2009, then US President, Barack Obama, urges education reform (Obama, 2009). Elucidating his plan for a major renovation for his country's education system, he urged states to develop standards “that don't simply measure whether students can fill in a bubble on a test but whether they possess 21st century skills like problem-solving and critical thinking, entrepreneurship and creativity.” What Obama postulated might prove relevant to education in any other countries. For instance, according to Zakaria and Iksan (2007), there are generally two limitations considered in the traditional education in Malaysia: lecture-based and teacher-centered teaching. The former supports passive acquisition of knowledge in which students merely receive packages of information so called, ‘knowledge’ which leads them to rote learning. The latter leads students rely on the teacher to decide what, when, and how to learn. Furthermore, the National Philosophy of Education in Malaysia emphasizes the development of each individual’s education quality that will later contribute to the development of nation and society (Badrul Isa, 2006). Furthermore, according to Halpern and Sanders (2004), thinking and language are closely tied constructs, because people’s thoughts determine the language used to express them, and, in turn, the language that is used fabricates the thoughts. Therefore, we might hypothesize that the already-existing methods of teaching have not met all the ideals of the Malaysian schools. Thus, any study which aims at somehow promoting the English knowledge of the students, as well as facilitating the critical thinking development of teachers and students may prove useful. Accordingly, the present study reports how Pictologics (PLS) method has been tried successfully with the Malaysian primary school students by enhancing their critical thinking skills.
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In this respect, reflection as so far understood is a broad thinking process that involves not only being critical about one, but also evaluating teacher performance. It means to be able to empower teachers in a society in constant re-creation. It underlines how important reflective teaching is for the transformation of a community and for learners, specifically, who are becoming more active in their learning process. Following that perspective, Erginel (2006) noted that “reflective teaching on teacher education contributes to pre- and in-service teachers’ meaning making processes by enabling them to consider different experiences and by interpreting these experiences in light of theory and own value judgments influenced by social factors” (p. 17). The previous contributions proved the benefits of the incorporation of reflection into the daily teaching practice which allows me to define reflection as an analytical and critical process of different actions, attitudes, and decisions in order to progress more efficiently in the teaching practices by the teachers.
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