Improving learning outcomes using cognitive models in systems design

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5 Scopus citations


System design courses typically incorporate team projects as both active learning components of courses and for student assessment. Research indicates, however, that actually working within a team generates a new set of problems, referred to as Problem B: managing the diversity of the problem solvers in contrast to Problem A: solving the actual problem the team is working on. Given the presence of Problem B, there is a risk that student learning will actually suffer because of the team. To mitigate this risk, we propose the use of the Cognitive Collaborative Model (CCM) in team system design exercises. The CCM is a six-stage cognitive model that takes into consideration the cognitive and social activities that occur during collaborative problem solving by facilitating problem formulation, solution planning, and system design tasks during collaboration. The model was initially developed to improve the effectiveness of engineers performing such tasks in teams and this study posits that the model will be equally effective on student learning. A detailed statistical experiment to study the effect of this model on subjects collaboratively solving an analysis and design problem was designed and executed. Randomly assigned teams of students were presented with one of four design problems. Half the teams were then exposed to the CCM while the remaining half was not. The effect on student learning was then measured using assessment of team deliverables.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Jan 1 2009
Event2009 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - Austin, TX, United States
Duration: Jun 14 2009Jun 17 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering


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