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Enhancing critical thinking in first year engineering students
Lawrence, N and Thomas, GA and Visentin, DC (2006) Enhancing critical thinking in first year engineering students. Proceedings of the International Conference on Innovation, Good Practice and Research in Engineering Education 2006. pp. 305-310. ISSN 1-905788-11-8
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Students come to first year engineering degree courses with a variety of learning styles and experiences. Many students can solve problems but lack the ability to critically analyse data and results, and are unable to present the data in meaningful ways. There can be an expectation that these generic attributes are either already present, or will be developed by osmosis through the degree program. This paper describes how learning outcomes are achieved, generic student attribute skills are fostered and experimental reporting skills are nurtured in a specialised unit in experimental methods. Students are introduced to programming, problem solving and analytical skills using software such as LabVIEW and MATLAB. These skills will then form a basis for later studies. The focus is on developing the ‘tools’ for problem solving early in the degree program, and giving generic skills a prime focus rather than allowing them to become a peripheral issue to the ‘content’ of the engineering degree. Students are encouraged to explore the relationship between theoretical predictions and experimental results. In particular students are encouraged to critically appraise experimental data collected, apply error analysis, discuss and present results meaningfully and reach conclusions.
|Journal or Publication Title:||Proceedings of the International Conference on Innovation, Good Practice and Research in Engineering Education 2006|
|Page Range:||pp. 305-310|
|Additional Information:||© 2006 The Higher Education Academy, UKCME|
|Date Deposited:||21 Apr 2009 01:01|
|Last Modified:||18 Nov 2014 03:57|
|Item Statistics:||View statistics for this item|
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