Assessment of metacognitive skills in design and manufacturing

Lisa Jo Elliott, Faisal Aqlan, Richard Zhao, Morgan Scott Janney

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

Abstract

Metacognition is the understanding of your own knowledge including what knowledge you do not have and what knowledge you do have. This includes knowledge of strategies and regulation of one's own cognition. Studying metacognition is important because higher-order thinking is commonly used, and problem-solving skills are positively correlated with metacognition. A positive previous disposition to metacognition can improve problem-solving skills. Metacognition is a key skill in design and manufacturing, as teams of engineers must solve complex problems. Moreover, metacognition increases individual and team performance and can lead to more original ideas. This study discusses the assessment of metacognitive skills in engineering students by having the students participate in hands-on and virtual reality activities related to design and manufacturing. The study is guided by two research questions: (1) do the proposed activities affect students' metacognition in terms of monitoring, awareness, planning, self-checking, or strategy selection, and (2) are there other components of metacognition that are affected by the design and manufacturing activities? The hypothesis is that the participation in the proposed activities will improve problem-solving skills and metacognitive awareness of the engineering students. A total of 34 undergraduate students participated in the study. Of these, 32 were male and 2 were female students. All students stated that they were interested in pursuing a career in engineering. The students were divided into two groups with the first group being the initial pilot run of the data. In this first group there were 24 students, in the second group there were 10 students. The groups' demographics were nearly identical to each other. Analysis of the collected data indicated that problem-solving skills contribute to metacognitive skills and may develop first in students before larger metacognitive constructs of awareness, monitoring, planning, self-checking, and strategy selection. Based on this, we recommend that the problem-solving skills and expertise in solving engineering problems should be developed in students before other skills emerge or can be measured. While we are sure that the students who participated in our study have awareness as well as the other metacognitive skills in reading, writing, science, and math, they are still developing in relation to engineering problems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number234
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
Volume2020-June
StatePublished - Jun 22 2020
Event2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference, ASEE 2020 - Virtual, Online
Duration: Jun 22 2020Jun 26 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Engineering(all)

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