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Reading: Experts vs. Novices: Differences in How Mental Representations are Used in Engineering Design

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Experts vs. Novices: Differences in How Mental Representations are Used in Engineering Design

Authors:

Raymond A. Dixon ,

University of Idaho, US
About Raymond

An Assistant Professor in the College of Education at the University of Idaho. 

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Scott D. Johnson

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, US
About Scott
Professor Emeritus in Education Policy, Organization and Leadership at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
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Abstract

The results of this study paint a picture of how four professional engineers differ from six engineering students in their use of mental representations on a conceptual engineering design task. Three major conclusions are drawn from the findings: (1) The use of mental representations, such as propositions, analogies, and metaphors, in the different mental spaces is important in engineering design; (2) Different from novices, experts rarely employed propositions or analogies in their problem space; and (3) Expert engineering designers differ from novice engineering designers on their use of within-domain analogies, between-domain analogies, heuristics, and formulas.
How to Cite: Dixon, R. A., & Johnson, S. D. (2011). Experts vs. Novices: Differences in How Mental Representations are Used in Engineering Design. Journal of Technology Education, 23(1), 47–65. DOI: http://doi.org/10.21061/jte.v23i1.a.5
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Published on 22 Sep 2011.
Peer Reviewed

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