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Board 255: Development and Application of Assessment Tools for a Research Experience for Teachers Site

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2023 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Baltimore , Maryland

Publication Date

June 25, 2023

Start Date

June 25, 2023

End Date

June 28, 2023

Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

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Paper Authors


Weihang Zhu University of Houston

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Dr. Weihang Zhu received his BS and MS in Mechanical and Energy Engineering from Zhejiang University and Ph.D. in Industrial and Systems Engineering from North Carolina State University. Currently he serves as Professor, Program Coordinator, and Graduate Program Coordinator for Mechanical Engineering Technology program in the Department of Engineering Technology, with a joint appointment in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Houston, Houston, Texas. His research expertise areas include design and manufacturing, automation and robotics, machine learning, computational optimization, mariner and offshore safety, and engineering education. He has secured $7.2M ($4.1M as PI; $4.5M since joining UH in fall 2018) funding from NSF, NASEM, USDA, state, local, and foundations. He has received eight engineering education grants from NSF.

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Peter Weber

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In 2019, University of Houston (UH) at Houston, Texas was awarded an NSF Research Experience for Teachers (RET) site grant titled “RET Site: High School Teacher Experience in Engineering Design and Manufacturing.” The goal of the project is to host 12 high school teachers each summer to participate in engineering design and manufacturing research and then convert their experience into high school curriculum. Given the experience from the first year’s operation and assessment, it was noted that the extant teacher self-efficacy surveys need to be further improved according to the specific needs of RET site. As such, an updated set of assessment tools was developed to evaluate the impact of RET site on high school teacher participants. In particular, a new teacher self-efficacy survey was created from synthesizing multiple sources including Bandura’s Instrument Teacher Self-Efficacy Scale, Collective Teacher Beliefs, and Teachers’ Sense of Efficacy Scale (Ohio State Teacher Efficacy Scale). Besides the new self-efficacy survey, more specific questions were added to pre- and post-summer self-reported questionnaires to better understand the teachers’ perception and receptance of the summer experience. Interviews were conducted individually instead of using a focus group. This allows the interviewee to be more vocal during the interview, allowing more in-depth understanding of their perception for future improvement. The new assessment tools were applied to the second cohort of 12 teachers in summer 2022. The assessment results show that the assessment tools were able to effectively capture teachers’ change in perception and evaluate the impact of the RET site. In the future, the tools may be improved and used in similar teacher professional development activities.

Zhu, W., & Weber, P. (2023, June), Board 255: Development and Application of Assessment Tools for a Research Experience for Teachers Site Paper presented at 2023 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Baltimore , Maryland. 10.18260/1-2--42701

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