Using a museum exhibit as a pedagogical tool for developing reflective engineers

Roman Taraban, Danny D. Reible, David Emile Mesple, Francesco V. Donato, Ibrahim Halil Yeter, Ryan C. Campbell, Jeong Hee Kim, Jill Hoffman

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Engineering educators are currently interested in the use of informal learning settings for developing reflective skills in engineers. The present study examined the effects of exposing engineering and non-engineering undergraduates to an exhibit at a university museum that focused on recycling. One goal was to test whether exposure to creative uses of recycled materials in everyday contexts made participants more sensitive to variables associated with reflective thinking in those contexts, like their sense of the utility of the recycled materials, the societal value of the recycled materials, and an appreciation for the process of recycling. A second goal was to test whether participants' interpretation of the exhibit depended on how the experimenter framed recycling issues prior to participants' interactions with the exhibit. The two forms of framing that were applied were a Government-Economy frame and a Community-Environment frame. The results of this study showed that participants' dispositions towards recycling changed after interacting with the exhibit. There was also a clear framing effect on participants' beliefs about recycling. This research study provides one example of the ways in which engineering instructors can use out-of-classroom resources, like museum exhibits, in order to develop more reflective engineers.

Original languageEnglish
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Jun 24 2017
Event124th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - Columbus, United States
Duration: Jun 25 2017Jun 28 2017


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