Exploring the Differences and Manipulation Pathways of Introductory Aerospace Engineering Problems through Concept Mapping. Frontiers in Education.
This full paper is focused on research into how educators might use concept mapping to explore and design learning experiences in a problem-based learning environment. Attempts to incorporate more open-ended, ill-structured experiences have increased but are challenging for faculty to implement because there are no systematic methods or approaches that support the educator in designing these learning experiences. In the reported work, we present an exploratory study toward a systematic approach for comparing and manipulating problems. The approach combines concept mapping with Jonassen’s characterization of problems and the forms of knowledge required to solve them. We explore manipulation pathways for a problem that can be pursued by an instructor who is interested in impacting the dimensions of structuredness and complexity. We compare similarities and differences among two problems taken from introductory aerospace engineering courses. We consider manipulation of structuredness and complexity and the change propagation in forms of knowledge and solution pathways.