Engineers must understand how to build, apply, and adapt various types of models in order to be successful. Throughout undergraduate engineering education, modeling is fundamental for many core concepts, though it is rarely explicitly taught. There are many benefits to explicitly teaching modeling, particularly in the first years of an engineering program. The research questions that drove this study are: (1) How do students’ solutions to a complex, openended problem (both written and coded solutions) develop over the course of multiple submissions? and (2) How do these developments compare across groups of students that did and did not participate in a course centered around modeling?. Students’ solutions to an openended problem across multiple sections of an introductory programming course were explored. These sections were all divided across two groups: (1) experimental group  these sections discussed and utilized mathematical and computational models explicitly throughout the course, and (2) comparison group  these sections focused on developing algorithms and writing code with a more traditional approach. All sections required students to complete a common openended problem that consisted of two versions of the problem (the first version with smaller data set and the other a larger data set). Each version hadmore »
Comparing students’ solutions to an openended problem in an introductory programming course with and without explicit modeling interventions
Engineers must understand how to build, apply, and adapt various types of models in order to be successful. Throughout undergraduate engineering education, modeling is fundamental for many core concepts, though it is rarely explicitly taught. There are many benefits to explicitly teaching modeling, particularly in the first years of an engineering program. The research questions that drove this study are: (1) How do students’ solutions to a complex, openended problem (both written and coded solutions) develop over the course of multiple submissions? and (2) How do these developments compare across groups of students that did and did not participate in a course centered around modeling?. Students’ solutions to an openended problem across multiple sections of an introductory programming course were explored. These sections were all divided across two groups: (1) experimental group  these sections discussed and utilized mathematical and computational models explicitly throughout the course, and (2) comparison group  these sections focused on developing algorithms and writing code with a more traditional approach. All sections required students to complete a common openended problem that consisted of two versions of the problem (the first version with smaller data set and the other a larger data set). Each version had more »
 Award ID(s):
 1827392
 Publication Date:
 NSFPAR ID:
 10182819
 Journal Name:
 ASEE Annual Conference proceedings
 ISSN:
 15244644
 Sponsoring Org:
 National Science Foundation
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