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written by Gavin Duffy, S.M. Chance, and Brian Bowe
A novice designer is prone to making premature decisions. He may quickly jump to posing solutions and view design as a linear, step-by-step process. An experienced designer is much more likely to conduct research and delay making decisions. She uses a variety of techniques, sees design as an iterative process, integrates feedback, reflects on the design process, and uses rational inquiry to cross-reference and integrate ideas, information, and personal experience. Such behaviour reflects beliefs about knowledge and its creation and such actions are hallmarks of the relativistic thinker who can set goals, reflect on thinking, identify what is needed and understand why it is necessary. The novice and expert enact very different personal epistemologies.

In this study, we explore how personal epistemology influences the design process in the context of a project-based learning (PBL) module in which students are asked to design, build and test simple measurement systems to create a weather station. The curriculum is largely traditional in nature but has seen a small but significant increase in the amount of PBL in the last few years. Many, often competing, decisions must be made by the students throughout this module, for example when designing the signal conditioning circuits or choosing the variables, and many can rush through this process, failing to justify their choices and making decisions for arbitrary reasons. Were they to pay more attention to the decision making process the students, with little extra work, could engage more fully with the module, produce better artifacts and achieve higher grades. In this paper we argue prior knowledge and motivation, other key drivers of the learning process along with epistemology, are not the reasons why some students lacked independence and failed to justify many of their decisions in this module.
40th SEFI Conference
Thessaloniki, Greece: 23-26 September 2012, 2012
Subjects Levels Resource Types
Education Foundations
- Problem Solving
= Expert-Novice Comparisons
- Student Characteristics
= Affect
= Skills
Education Practices
- Active Learning
= Inquiry Learning
- Instructional Material Design
= Problem/Question
= Project
Other Sciences
- Engineering
- Lower Undergraduate
- Upper Undergraduate
- Reference Material
= Proceedings
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© 2012 a Creative Commons AttributionNoncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 License
Keywords:
Design, Personal epistemology, Student-centred learning
Record Creator:
Metadata instance created May 20, 2016 by Madeleine Wolff
Record Updated:
May 30, 2016 by Lyle Barbato
Last Update
when Cataloged:
September 26, 2012
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Record Link
AIP Format
G. Duffy, S. Chance, and B. Bowe, presented at the 40th SEFI Conference, Thessaloniki, Greece, 2012, WWW Document, (http://arrow.dit.ie/engscheleart/186/).
AJP/PRST-PER
G. Duffy, S. Chance, and B. Bowe, Improving Engineering Students’ Design Skills in a Project-Based Learning Course by Addressing Epistemological Issues, presented at the 40th SEFI Conference, Thessaloniki, Greece, 2012, <http://arrow.dit.ie/engscheleart/186/>.
APA Format
Duffy, G., Chance, S., & Bowe, B. (2012, 23-26 September 2012). Improving Engineering Students’ Design Skills in a Project-Based Learning Course by Addressing Epistemological Issues. Paper presented at 40th SEFI Conference, Thessaloniki, Greece. Retrieved October 17, 2018, from http://arrow.dit.ie/engscheleart/186/
Chicago Format
Duffy, G, S. Chance, and B. Bowe. "Improving Engineering Students’ Design Skills in a Project-Based Learning Course by Addressing Epistemological Issues." Paper presented at the 40th SEFI Conference, Thessaloniki, Greece, 23-26 September 2012, 2012. http://arrow.dit.ie/engscheleart/186/ (accessed 17 October 2018).
MLA Format
Duffy, Gavin, S.M. Chance, and Brian Bowe. "Improving Engineering Students’ Design Skills in a Project-Based Learning Course by Addressing Epistemological Issues." 40th SEFI Conference. Thessaloniki, Greece: 2012. 17 Oct. 2018 <http://arrow.dit.ie/engscheleart/186/>.
BibTeX Export Format
@inproceedings{ Author = "Gavin Duffy and S.M. Chance and Brian Bowe", Title = {Improving Engineering Students’ Design Skills in a Project-Based Learning Course by Addressing Epistemological Issues}, BookTitle = {40th SEFI Conference}, Address = {Thessaloniki, Greece}, Month = {23-26 September 2012}, Year = {2012} }
Refer Export Format

%A Gavin Duffy
%A S.M. Chance
%A Brian Bowe
%T Improving Engineering Students' Design Skills in a Project-Based Learning Course by Addressing Epistemological Issues
%D 23-26 September 2012 2012
%C Thessaloniki, Greece
%U http://arrow.dit.ie/engscheleart/186/
%O 40th SEFI Conference
%O 23-26 September 2012
%O application/pdf

EndNote Export Format

%0 Conference Proceedings
%A Duffy, Gavin
%A Chance, S.M.
%A Bowe, Brian
%D 23-26 September 2012 2012
%T Improving Engineering Students' Design Skills in a Project-Based Learning Course by Addressing Epistemological Issues
%B 40th SEFI Conference
%C Thessaloniki, Greece
%8 23-26 September 2012
%U http://arrow.dit.ie/engscheleart/186/


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