Model-Eliciting Activities (MEAs) as a Bridge Between Engineering Education Research and Mathematics Education Research


This article introduces Model-Eliciting Activities (MEAs) as a form of case study team problem-solving. MEA design focuses on eliciting from students conceptual models that they iteratively revise in problem-solving. Though developed by mathematics education researchers to study the evolution of mathematical problem-solving expertise in middle school students, MEAs are increasingly used in undergraduate engineering at the introductory course level, and are the subject of several NSF grants to expand their implementation. A primary implementation challenge involves finding appropriate blends of MEAs with other pedagogies. Current research and development efforts include five areas of expanding the theoretical and empirical scope of the MEA construct. These include development and use of Reflection Tools, a device to nurture problem-solving personalities; implementation of current and futuristic learning technologies; elicitation and repair of misconceptions among undergraduates; development of engineering students’ ethical frameworks; and implementation of the elicitation model in higher level engineering courses.

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Graduate School of Education and Psychology
Pepperdine University

School of Education
Indiana University

School of Education
Indiana University


Department of Mathematical Sciences
US Air Force Academy

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