June 18, 2006
June 18, 2006
June 21, 2006
Division Experimentation & Lab-Oriented Studies
11.242.1 - 11.242.13
ASSESSING TEACHING METHODS FOR A COURSE IN NUMERICAL METHODS
Effectiveness of four instructional delivery modalities – 1) Traditional lecture, 2) Web- enhanced lecture, 3) Web-based self-study, and 4) Combined web-based self-study & classroom discussion, was investigated for a single instructional unit (Nonlinear Equations) over separate administrations of an undergraduate course in Numerical Methods. Two assessment instruments – 1) student performance on a multiple-choice examination, and 2) a student satisfaction survey were used to gather relevant data to compare the delivery modalities. Statistical analysis of the assessment data indicates that the second modality where web-based modules for instruction were used in conjunction with a face-to-face lecture delivery mode resulted in higher levels of student performance and satisfaction.
Background and Rationale
Web-based modules have been developed for a junior-level Numerical Methods course delivered in the College of Engineering at University of South Florida, Tampa.
The features of the web-based modules are addressed indirectly since the complete details are readily available in Ref1, 2. Stating in brief, the unique features of the web-based modules are that they are both holistic and customized. Holistically, the web-based modules review essential course background information; present numerical methods through several options - textbook notes, lecture videos, PowerPoint presentations, simulations and assessments; show how course content covered is applied in real life; tell stories to illustrate special topics and pitfalls; and give historical perspectives to the material1,2. Faculty and students are able to choose a customized view based on their preferred computational system - Maple3, Mathcad4, Mathematica5, Matlab6, and choice of engineering major - Chemical, Civil, Computer, Electrical, General, Industrial, and Mechanical.
Figure 1: Home page of the Holistic Numerical Methods Institute - Committed to Bringing Customized Numerical Methods Holistically to Undergraduates.
The focus of this research is to compare four different modes of instructional delivery, namely
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