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While there is a significant body of literature on the development of expertise generally, much less is written on the development of expertise in engineering specifically. The purpose of this research is to examine the nature and scope of students' expertise in two computer engineering courses. Data are collected via no-grade assignments administered in-class approximately 10 times in each course. The assignments probe into students' ways of organizing information, deciding on contexts of applicability of the subject matter, and creating analogies to other concepts. Data obtained from the first course have undergone preliminary analysis; full analysis will occur in summer 2010 when the second course has ended. Preliminary findings indicate rudimentary characteristics of routine expertise with no significant markers of adaptive expertise evident in the data to date. The study is also an example of the viability of non-intrusive classroom-based engineering education research that yields meaningful insights.
Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE), 2010 IEEE
Date of Conference: 27-30 Oct. 2010