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Title: An Exploration of Course Design Heuristics Identified from Design Meetings, Design Artifacts, and Educator Interviews
This research paper investigates differences between course design heuristics that have been identified from three distinct data sources: course design team meetings, educator interviews, and course design papers. The study of heuristics used by experts in a discipline can have several practical benefits. They can (1) be employed as tools to scaffold expert behavior among novices, (2) be translated into processes to make challenging tasks more efficient, and (3) provide deeper insights into the nature of a domain, task, or discipline. While the study of heuristics remains robust across domains, they have demonstrated differences in format and have been identified through a variety of data types. The purpose of this study is to unpack differences in heuristics independently identified through different data types in order to better understand the role these types of data can play in understanding of heuristics for course design, especially as related to engineering courses. We utilized thematic analysis to explore the patterns of differences between heuristics identified from the three settings in three related, but distinct studies. Datasets includes audio-recordings from a four-month team course redesign process, five approximately hour-long educator interviews, and 183 peer-reviewed course design papers. We identified four themes representing differences across the datasets: (1) differences in volume/frequency of heuristics, (2) differences in breadth, specificity, and conceptualizations evidenced by categories of heuristics, (3) individual heuristic specificity, and (4) locus of clarity in heuristic examples. These results inform a set of four considerations for selecting data sources for studies of heuristics within engineering course design and other domains.  more » « less
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2019 ASEE Annual Conference
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National Science Foundation
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