Fostering Mental-Model Thinking During Design
Alyse Hachey, Lisa Tsuei, John Black, Teachers College, Columbia Univ., United States
EdMedia + Innovate Learning, in Norfolk, VA USA ISBN 978-1-880094-42-6 Publisher: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE), Waynesville, NC
To investigate the use of mental-model reasoning about mechanisms in design, we had 12-13 year old students design a Mars Colony including physical, biological and social systems. Unlike previous research, we did not find significant gender differences in the designs. We found more reasoning about mechanisms from the beginning with physical systems than with biological and social systems. However, this mechanism reasoning did not increase across three design sessions for any of these systems. We did get increases in the initial relations that the students included in their designs. However, this was countered by a decrease in component and relational thinking during the final trouble-shooting task. We suggest that a more guided design environment starting with physical systems and then moving on to biological and social systems will be needed to foster mental-model reasoning about mechanisms with students this age during design.
Hachey, A., Tsuei, L. & Black, J. (2001). Fostering Mental-Model Thinking During Design. In C. Montgomerie & J. Viteli (Eds.), Proceedings of ED-MEDIA 2001--World Conference on Educational Multimedia, Hypermedia & Telecommunications (pp. 636-642). Norfolk, VA USA: Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE).
© 2001 Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE)
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