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Scaffolding Middle and High School Students’ Engineering Design Experiences: Quality Problem-SCOPEing Promoting Successful Solutions

Authors:

Andrew J. Hughes ,

Associate Professor in the Career and Technical Education Program at California State University San Bernardino., US
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Cameron D. Denson

Associate Professor in the Technology, Engineering and Design Education Program at North Carolina State University., US
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Abstract

Highly proficient expert engineers begin the iterative process of design by thoroughly investigating the design problem. Engineering students are often distracted by surface details, leading to a faulty conception of the problem and inappropriate solution strategies. Adequate problem-scoping is arguably the most important step in the design process. To address this issue, the researchers developed an instructional framework to help teachers scaffold students’ cognitive and metacognitive processes during the problem-scoping phase of a design challenge.


The purpose of this quasi-experimental study was to investigate the impact that scaffolded instruction related to the SCOPE process had on students’ solution success during a design challenge. The SCOPE process is used to help teachers scaffold students’ design experiences during a tower design challenge and increase the overall effectiveness of their design efforts. Students in this study (N = 802) were separated into treatment and control groups. Using hierarchical multiple regression, the SCOPE process accounted for 40.4% (ΔR2 = .404) of the variability of the design score, which was statistically significant (p < .001). The results indicate that students who received scaffolded instruction from their teachers related to the SCOPE process during the design experience performed better on the design challenge.

How to Cite: Hughes, A. J., & Denson, C. D. (2021). Scaffolding Middle and High School Students’ Engineering Design Experiences: Quality Problem-SCOPEing Promoting Successful Solutions. Journal of Technology Education, 32(2), 4–20. DOI: http://doi.org/10.21061/jte.v32i2.a.1
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Published on 24 May 2021.
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