June 24, 2017
June 24, 2017
June 28, 2017
Mastery learning and assessment is an approach that has existed in education for decades. There are two main approaches for mastery learning: Bloom’s Learning for Mastery and Keller’s Personalized System of Instruction. Both approaches hinge on the idea of dividing the course material into basic modules. The students have to master each module before moving to the next module. Student’s mastery is assessed via set of tests where each test is focused on a certain concept. Mastery learning and assessment have been implemented for a number of years at this University within the School of Engineering. The implementation of mastery learning was solely focused on fundamental engineering courses (i.e. Statics, Strength of Materials, and Thermodynamics). The use of mastery approach in these fundamental courses showed clear evidence that students who passed these courses with at least a C could solve engineering problems successfully and were better prepared for advanced courses in engineering when compared to the conventional learning and assessment approach. Mastery learning was not utilized in the engineering economy course until this semester (Fall 2016). In this study, a variation of the mastery learning approach is implemented in an engineering economy course at this large U.S. public University. The engineering economy course is a hybrid in the sense that the first third of the course is mastery learning where the students are required to successfully solve problems before receiving credit for their work. The pace of the course is led by the instructor. The remaining two thirds of the course is a traditional learning and assessment approach where grades are based on partial credit. The mastery portion of the course may require students to take assessments multiple times prior to receiving credit for their work. Two assessment tests are delivered in the mastery portion of the course. Each test involves a first attempt, a retake attempt, and a final attempt. The retake and final attempts include new questions that have similar difficulty levels to the first attempt questions while also testing the same concepts. The student will not receive grade points for these tests until he/she successfully solves the test questions. Successfully solving the test is defined as achieving at least a B grade for the tested concepts. After the initial attempt, students are awarded reduced credit for successive retakes. The complete detail of the credit breakdown is displayed in the paper. In this paper, mastery learning and concept assessment practices are applied to the engineering economy course. The initial set of concepts in this course. i.e., time value of money and money management, are fundamental to understanding the remainder of the engineering economy concepts. The main hypothesis in this study is that mastery learning and assessment motivates students to learn the fundamental concepts in engineering economy better than the conventional approach. Data has been collected and analyzed to test the effectiveness of the implementation of mastery learning in the engineering economy course. The initial data analysis has shown that the implementation of the mastery learning practice led to a statistically significant increase in student knowledge of the time value of money and money management concepts in the engineering economy course when compared to the traditional teaching approach. A two sample t-test was performed. The two samples tested are statistically different. The average of grades on the first midterm exam were 87.89% and 75.95% for the mastery approach cohort and traditional approach cohort, respectively. This paper will discuss in detail the background of mastery approach that was implemented in the engineering economy course, and the quantitative data analysis that was carried out on student performance for both the traditional and mastery approaches. Future research should focus on collecting additional data to confirm the results in the engineering economy course.
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: © 2017 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