Where do I go from here?

Where do I go from here?

This entry is part 5 of 5 in the series Cognitive Processes in Engineering Education

Now that we have been thinking about memory, it is interesting to think about how we apply things that we know to different situations. This is known as transfer. Transfer of information can occur in a couple of different ways. Information that was learned previously can be transferred to new settings, we can transfer what we learn in a classroom to things in our daily life such as work, and we can transfer new ideas to new situations. There are…

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Now what was I doing?

Now what was I doing?

This entry is part 4 of 5 in the series Cognitive Processes in Engineering Education

There are many times when my memory seems to have failed me. Sometimes I walk into a room and don’t remember why I went into the room. Some days I can’t remember what I did the previous day. Sometimes I just block things from my memory and other times I wish I could block things from my memory but seem unable to do so. And sometimes I get the wrong idea in my head and it just sticks there. Memory…

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Where am I going? (Part 2)

Where am I going? (Part 2)

This entry is part 3 of 5 in the series Cognitive Processes in Engineering Education

In the previous post, Where am I going? (Part 1), I mention automaticity and some of the challenges that come when students (or any of us) are on autopilot. But is automaticity all bad? In a word, no. Automaticity can be a negative thing in education when students go through the motions without thinking about what they are doing and why they are doing it. But automaticity can also help students focus on specific parts or more challenging aspects of…

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Where am I going? (Part 1)

Where am I going? (Part 1)

This entry is part 2 of 5 in the series Cognitive Processes in Engineering Education

Many times, I find myself on autopilot; just going through the motions without really thinking about what I am doing. Automaticity, while there currently is not consensus about the exact meaning of the term, is this idea of processing information with little to no attention (Moors & De Houwer, 2006) – it is this idea of autopilot. We have probably all experienced this in our daily lives: we drive home after work instead of driving to the grocery store, we…

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F=m…m…mmm what’s for dinner?

F=m…m…mmm what’s for dinner?

This entry is part 1 of 5 in the series Cognitive Processes in Engineering Education

In many classes that I took during my undergraduate career, I found myself paying close attention to what the instructor said, taking notes, organizing, color coding ideas, and following along with the instructor. And that usually lasted about 15 minutes. Then my mind would wander. I would think about something else – my weekend plans, other homework, or just how much time was left in the class. I consider myself a pretty good student, but paying attention for 50, 75,…

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Community, Culture, and Conversations

Community, Culture, and Conversations

I’m struggling to put into words all that I learned during my recent visit to Iceland, Germany, Switzerland, France, and Italy to learn about higher education. But I will try to highlight some of the lasting lessons that I took away. I’m a pretty quiet person to begin with, and when I travel, I am even quieter. I try to blend in and not stand out in new places. I prefer to observe what is going on around me as…

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Stopover success

Stopover success

We left DC at 8:30 pm and arrived in Iceland 6 hours later (6:30 am local time). We had reserved a rental car at the airport so we groggily made our way to the rental car counters. But there was no counter for Thrifty rental car. Just a bored looking teenager holding a (barely visible) sign with our name on it. Not sure what to expect, we followed this young chap to the shuttle and off we went to a…

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Countdown to GPP: T minus 21 hours

Countdown to GPP: T minus 21 hours

It is Friday night, and I leave tomorrow for Iceland, Germany, and then Switzerland for the Global Perspectives Program. I keep repeating this to myself because it hasn’t really sunk in yet. This past week, I have been running on caffeine and lists. Each day there was a new list with all of the things that I needed to get done for classes, work, summer research, and preparing for the trip. Everything that I had to do was on those lists….

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It’s a mac and cheese kind of day

It’s a mac and cheese kind of day

I was talking to my mom about grad school and all the work I had left to do today. And she said: “Sometimes it’s a cordon bleu kind of day, and sometimes it’s a mac and cheese kind of day.” In other words, sometimes you can accomplish amazing things, and sometimes you just have to do small things. Today is a mac and cheese kind of day. But who knows, maybe tomorrow there will be cordon bleu. I switched fields two…

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Dear current and future creator, builder, developer, dreamer, problem solver, world changer

Dear current and future creator, builder, developer, dreamer, problem solver, world changer

Before I begin, there are a few things that you should know about me. I am quiet, goofy, kind, caring, shy, outgoing, creative, and bubbly. And I am an engineer. I have a BS in Mechanical Engineering and I am currently working on an MEng in Mechanical Engineering and a PhD in Engineering Education. I want to improve the way engineering is taught and help to change the “chilly climate” that is synonymous with engineering. Engineering is not always a…

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