(566c) Self-Reflection Assignments for Evaluating Non-Technical Skills and Setting Goals for Professional Development
AIChE Annual Meeting
Wednesday, November 16, 2016 - 3:53pm to 4:12pm
A classroom research study was conducted in Spring 2016 to assess the impact of the assignments using pre- and post-assignment surveys of student perceptions of their non-technical skill levels (beginning, developing, or succeeding) and their opinions on the impact of the assignments on any changes in their skill levels. The hypothesis is that the self-reflection assignments positively impact student progression toward higher levels of non-technical skills. Further, we hypothesize that skills that students focus on actively and skills that students are simply made aware of through the exercises and do not actively reflect on in course assignments improve during the semester with some level of attribution to the self-reflection assignments. The research study involves surveying students before and after the series of self-reflection assignments to quantitatively assess changes in aggregate skill levels using the Self-Evaluation Rubric and student perceptions of their own proficiencies in the skills. The Self-Evaluation Rubric has been published under a creative commons license, and educational research on the content of student reflections using the rubric in a physics class has been published in the physics education literature. In this study, we quantified the number of students that rank themselves as beginning, developing, or succeeding for each of the 10 skills on the rubric before and after the use of self-reflection assignments in the course. Our surveys also included open-ended questions about potential causes for skill level changes, if any, about skills they focused on throughout the term for the self-reflection assignments, and about their opinions of the self-reflection assignments in general. These surveys were administered anonymously and electronically without inclusion of any identifying information. Student participation in the surveys for the research study is optional. Student self-reflection assignment submissions were not utilized in the study. The data will be presented in aggregate form. This research methodology was approved by the OSU Institutional Research Board.
The research may produce new knowledge on the efficacy of the self-reflection assignments in improving non-technical skills in the context of an engineering course. Testing the hypothesis through the survey assessments will provide quantitative feedback on whether or not this instructional technique should be recommended for use in future course offerings and in other engineering courses at OSU and at other academic institutions. Non-technical skill development is important for engineering undergraduate programs as these skills comprise a significant portion of the required student outcomes for engineering baccalaureate degree program accreditation. The research study data collection is ongoing. Data will be analyzed in Summer/Fall 2016 for inclusion in the presentation. The limited sample of the results available at the time of abstract submission positively support the hypothesis.