Virtual On line
June 22, 2020
June 22, 2020
June 26, 2021
The paper will discuss the use of control system design approach to improve student learning outcomes (SLOs). The SLOs are used as a guide to assess student learning progress as they work through the course. The SLOs provide an excellent framework for an instructor when reviewing materials and preparing for assessments and they are the most effective if they are actionable and measurable. The learning outcomes not only serve the purpose of directing the content and design of a unit of study, they form the basis of assessment and are also linked to the larger outcomes of learning set by the academic program in the form of generic and/or discipline-specific graduate attributes.
The process of achieving SLOs in a course or in a research project can be viewed as a dynamic system. Just as in a dynamic system, the input is tracked well with feedbacks and controllers, it is shown that the same concept can be applied in assessing learning outcomes in a course or a research project. This approach was successfully applied in two engineering technology courses at Elizabeth City State University. The proposed method composed of identifying the SLOs for the course stated in course outline as macro-SLOs and then developed lower level micro-SLOs, which contributed to individual macro-SLOs. These macro-SLOs and micro-SLOS constituted the inner and outer loops respectively of a dynamic assessment system. Further, appropriate tracking of SLOs was ensured by having inner and outer loop feedbacks with controllers in each loop. The input and output of this dynamic system were the target macro-SLOs and achieved macro-SLOs respectively. Tests, exams., assignments, presentations, projects and other methods to assess students were the sensors that provide measured feedbacks to generate error function. The tracking of macro-SLOs was ensured by having an inner loop track micro-SLOs. The controllers in both outer and inner loops were the interventions in this system.
This dynamic system is a Multi-Input-Multi-Output (MIMO) system since the number of SLOs are more than one. One controller was driven by the course instructor while the other was driven by the students in the course. One of the requirements that needs to be met in a multi-loop control system design is that the inner-loop is about 5 to 10 times faster than the outer-loop in order to have a quicker corrective action for microSLOs, which are implemented in the inner loop. Therefore, in this case, the outer-loop frequency was once in a semester and the inner-loop frequency was set to be 5 times in one semester. This means that the course had 5 evaluations carried out for micro-SLOs and these were spaced out accordingly.
The paper will discuss (i) development/identification of macro-SLOs; (ii) developing a set of micro-SLOs for every macro-SLO; (iii) intervention techniques to reduce the gap in attaining SLO; and (iv) implementation results of the proposed approach in engineering technology courses.
Asthana, C. B., & Rawat, K. S., & Eslami, A. M. (2020, June), A Control System Design Approach to Improve the Attainability of Student Learning Outcomes in Engineering Technology Courses Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--33989
ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2020 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015