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Collaborative Cloud-based Documents for Real-time Bi-directional Feedback in Large Lecture Activities

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

FPD 6: Course Content and Educational Strategies

Tagged Division

First-Year Programs

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.280.1 - 24.280.12



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Paper Authors


Brian M. Frank P.Eng. Queen's University

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Brian Frank is an associate professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering, where he has taught courses in electronics and wireless systems. He is the DuPont Canada Chair in Engineering Education Research and Development, and the Director of Program Development in the Faculty of Engineering and Applied Science where he works on engineering curriculum development, program assessment, and developing educational technology.

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Behnam Behinaein Hamgini Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Queen's University

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Collaborative cloud-based documents for real-time bi-directional feedback in large lecture activitiesInstructors seeking to improve engagement in lectures turn to a variety of approaches to provideactivity and receive feedback on performance. The degree and quality of bi-directional feedback,both from students to instructor and from instructor to students, has been shown to have one ofthe most significant impacts on learning. Audience response systems have been widely used toprovide feedback to the instructor about and their impact on engagement and learning has beenpresented widely. These include handheld dedicated transmitters, often known as clickers, andweb-based response systems that allow students to use their laptops, tablets, smartphones, andSMS to interact with the instructor.Courses that use these systems often used a flipped classroom approach where students doreadings and quizzes before a class and engage in activities during the class. In this way theinstructor is able to assess student understanding of course concepts and immediately providefeedback to address misconceptions or partial understanding with a large number of students.These systems, however, are limited in their ability to support bi-directional feedback oncomplex open-ended tasks. They tend to focus on multiple choice, short answer, or numericresponse questions, though some include the ability to submit larger text responses. All of thesystems provide the information to instructor only when the student submits the material. Whenthe class involves longer-term activities e.g. activities requiring 10-15 minutes of studentdiscussion and work to craft a response), it is useful to be able to watch the student response indevelopment. This allows the instructor to (a) observe the process of development, and (b) pickout samples of student work while students are working, rather than waiting until students havesubmitted it.This paper will present a pilot project that uses cloud-based documents to provide bi-directional feedback on open-ended contextualized activities (open-ended design problems,brainstorming, evaluation of information sources, etc.). The course setting is a first yearengineering design and professional practice course of approximately 700 students, taught inthree sections, at a medium-sized institution in Canada. Most weeks involve pre-class readingsand quiz, and a 1-hour lecture slot. Students were assigned to groups, and assigned shareddirectories in Google Drive. In most classes students were assigned an activity requiring aresponse that was completed in a document in Google Drive. The course instructor, and a TAwho attended each class, were able to view samples of students work and select some toanonymously discuss with the class. Thorough well-thought responses were highlighted, andmisconceptions or misdirection was addressed. In this way students received some feedback oncommon issues in constructed response tasks immediately, rather than waiting for submissionand grading of assignments.The paper will present the instructor’s perspective on this approach, and perceived impact onstudent learning compared to years where this approach was not used. Students’ perceptions willbe reported by criteria including ease of use, usability, and value for learning.

Frank, B. M., & Behinaein Hamgini, B. (2014, June), Collaborative Cloud-based Documents for Real-time Bi-directional Feedback in Large Lecture Activities Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20171

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