Wales-Woods KC

Exam #2, Problem #1 for ENGR 335, Fall 2010


The "brain-based learning model" involves

  • find my motivation
  • get knowledge down (also called knowledge construction or KC)
  • apply this knowledge in the real world and get feedback
  • reflect on the knowledge and on the process of learning itself

Many students are presently missing key ideas from the Wales-Woods model. When my students gain these ideas, they will be better engineers who can solve problems in easier ways. Thus, the purpose of this assignment is to help my students better grasp the main ideas of the model.

A second purpose is that I want my student to be empiricists. Empiricists base knowledge and practice on evidence and data, not on emotion and personal opinion. Being an empiricist is seminal to learning and to engineering.


Task Description

1. Skim the three resources listed above. These papers describe the Wales/Woods Model. Questions to consider as you skim

  • what is the evidence for the validity of this model? is this evidence believable?
  • what are the most important ideas? why are these ideas useful?
  • what are the steps that good problem solvers practice?

2. Create a document (minimum 1 page, maximum 2 page) that summarize the essential knowledge about the model. Make active use of headings, subheadings, visuals, tables, etc. and minimize lengthy prose. Address the following questions

  • what is the wales/woods model?
  • what are the benefits of the model? why is it useful?
  • how does one problem solve using the model? what are the steps?
  • what is the evidence for the validity of the model? why should anyone believe it?

Focus on the GENI table (i.e. logical reasoning) as presented by Wales.

Your target audience for this document is professors and students who use our fluid text (EFM 9e).
Connect with students (priority 1) but also write in ways that connect with profs (priority 2).

You can be informal (readable hand writing) or formal (typed). Key issue is content and communication.

3. Attached your document as the 1st problem on your exam.

How You Will be Graded

Goal 1. You have identified and accurately communicated the most fundamental knowledge with the right level of depth (right amount of details).

Goal 2. You have incorporated your voice and your words to communicate what you think is most important (fundamentals). Yet, your work is largely free of judgement and bias because you have provided evidence, rationale, and reasoning to support your point of view.

Goal 3. You have used headings, subheadings, lists, tables, sketches, etc. to make your document easy to read, easy to understand, and enjoyable to read.

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