427661 Assessing Student Learning through Student Developed Course Materials

Tuesday, November 10, 2015
Exhibit Hall 1 (Salt Palace Convention Center)
Kimberlyn Gray, Chemical Engineering, West Virginia University Institute of Technology, Montgomery, WV and Marcia Pool, Bioengineering, University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, Urbana, IL

Introduction: Engineering education studies seek to identify best practices for increasing student learning, engaging students, and developing students into practicing engineers. Three techniques shown to promote learning are (1) active learning, (2) collaborative learning, and (3) course “flipping”. Active learning engages students in the learning process while collaborative learning promotes knowledge gain as a group works toward a goal [1]. “Flipping” the class involves delivering course material, typically in videos or interactive exercises, prior the scheduled lecture, requiring students to watch or perform the activity, and using the lecture time to introduce more complex examples of the topic covered in the video or interactive activity [2,3]. One hindrance to “flipping” the class is the increased time burden on teaching personnel to prepare extra materials. We integrated these three techniques to engage students in their own learning and in teaching future engineers. To do this, students will demonstrate active learning and collaborative learning in developing a video on an assigned course topic. Videos developed through this process will be used to create a repository of instructional material which can reduce the time burden on instructors to “flip” the class. Herein, we describe our project to engage students in active and collaborative learning to assist in “flipping” future course offerings.

Materials and Methods: As a course project, eleven sophomore level students enrolled in a material and energy balances course were assigned a course topic (general open system energy balance or heat of reaction) and tasked with creating an instructional video of not more than 10 minutes which included (1) an overview of the method including any limitations, (2) a simple example to demonstrate the concept, and (3) a summary of how the technique is utilized in real-world chemical engineering. The video rubric was mapped to ABET criteria. Students were allowed creative license on choosing the best method to deliver the video (Prezi, voice over, acting, etc.). Video submissions were due prior to administration of the final exam. On the final exam, two questions of increasing difficulty for each assigned video topic required students to describe the solution procedure. These questions were used to determine if creating the videos increased student understanding of the solution method reviewed in the video. An ANOVA will be performed to determine if students, as a whole, performed better on one question. Then, a correlation study will be implemented to determine if students performed better on questions related to the solution method reviewed in their video.

Table 1. Mapping ABET to assignment criteria

Video Component

ABET Criteria [4]

Overview and example of solution method

A: ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science, and engineering

K: ability to use techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice

Real-world application

E: ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems

I: knowledge of contemporary issues

Development, structure, delivery

G: ability to communicate effectively

Results and Discussion: Eleven videos will be developed as a  course project (spring 2015): five on general energy balances and six on heat of reaction. ABET criteria were mapped to the assignment (Table 1). Statistical results will reveal areas in which students demonstrate better understanding. Students were randomly assigned topics; however, overall student performance will be compared to topic performance to see if  improved understanding through video creation is impacted by earlier student performance.  

Conclusions: Engaging students in creating material to “flip” the class requires the student to practice active learning. Students enhance their understanding of engineering by relating techniques learned in class to real-world practices.

References: [1] M. Prince, "Does Active Learning Work? A Review of the Research." Journal of Engineering Education, vol. 93, no. 3, pp. 223-231, 2004.
[2] J. L. Bishop and M. A. Verleger, “The Flipped Classroom: A Survey of the Research,” in ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Atlanta, GA, 2013.
[3] M. J. Lage et al. "Inverting the Classroom: A Gateway to Creating an Inclusive Learning Environment," Journal of Economic Education vol. 31, no. 1, pp. 30-43, 2000

[4] ABET: Criteria for Accrediting Engineering Programs, 2015-2016 Available: http://www.abet.org

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