ASEE Zone 2 Conference 2017

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Evaluation of immediate feedback tools in an undergraduate statics/solid mechanics course

Final Paper
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In an age where students’ ability to learn course material is understood to depend on many factors including personal learning styles, family background, and the accumulation of past personal experiences and educational opportunities, the problem of teaching large classes of diverse students and evaluating their performance in an effective, efficient, and equitable manner can seem daunting. In an effort to improve the student learning process, an instructor introduced two significant changes into a statics and solid mechanics course in the spring semester of 2016. Homework was changed from a paper assignment to the textbook publisher’s online platform, and frequent in-class quizzes were introduced, in which students graded their own work and were awarded full credit for turning in the quiz, regardless of the assigned grade. These two measures had the mutual benefit of reducing the instructor’s grading load, while simultaneously providing students with much more immediate feedback on their learning progress. Additionally, the feedback available to students was also available to the instructor, who could therefore make more immediate lesson changes to accommodate student needs. To collect specific feedback on overall student perception of these changes, an anonymous survey was given at the end of the semester, in which students rated the effectiveness of various tools and techniques employed in the course. Other than the items already described, the survey asked about lectures, the course textbook, publisher-based online resources other than the homework system, and independently obtained learning resources. These surveys, combined with other available feedback data, are analyzed in a continuing attempt to improve the teaching of this course.


Kenneth Marek    
Mercer University
United States


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