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Developing An Instructional Technology Scaffold For Reinforcing Learning Of Probability And Statistics

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

BME Introductory Courses

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.435.1 - 10.435.25

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Paper Authors

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Mia Markey

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Kathy Schmidt The University of Texas at Austin

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Session #

Developing an Instructional Technology Scaffold for Reinforcing Learning of Probability and Statistics

Mia K. Markey, Department of Biomedical Engineering Kathy J. Schmidt, College of Engineering Faculty Innovation Center M. G. Saldivar, College of Engineering Faculty Innovation Center The University of Texas at Austin

Abstract Multiple instructional technologies can be used to deliver both in-class and out-of-class materials. In order to facilitate active learning (i.e., student interactions) and emphasize real- world applications in an introductory undergraduate biomedical engineering course on probability and statistics, we are developing a scaffold of multiple instructional technologies. These technologies include the course management system, BlackBoard®, MATLAB® problems using laptops, and the Classroom Performance System (CPS) technology that consist of remote controls for each student and a receiver that records student answers to questions posed by the instructor. This paper assesses how instructional technologies reinforce student learning and critical thinking.

1 Introduction Using current research in cognition and learning theory as a guide, instructional technologies can be utilized to enhance classroom teaching.1 While much of the early research found “no significant difference” with instructional technology, current research is moving beyond that simplistic premise in order to address appropriate coupling of pedagogical approaches and instructional technologies. The devices presenting material are merely delivery mechanisms and a more compelling issue is how do they facilitate learning and how do students’ confidence, ability, and willingness to engage with instructional tools influence the successful integration of these technologies into teaching and learning? In this paper, we explore how instructional technologies influenced students in developing basic content understanding, but also in the development of critical thinking and reasoning skills (as categorized by an educational taxonomy). In the fall of 2004, we gathered pre- and post-class student survey data, observational data, technology usage data, and classroom performance results in BME 335 Introduction to Probability, Random Processes, and Statistics. These data are intended to lay the groundwork for a model of the interplay between instructional technologies, student thinking, and interactions in a probability and statistics course (Figure 1). BME 335 is a core undergraduate course in Biomedical Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin. In the standard curriculum, the course is to be taken in the sophomore year. One of the UT BME program outcomes is that our graduates will be able to "design and conduct experiments and analyze and interpret data to support the understanding of biological systems and processes." Our intent is that BME 335 contributes to this program outcome, particularly

Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005 American Society for Engineering Education

Markey, M., & Schmidt, K. (2005, June), Developing An Instructional Technology Scaffold For Reinforcing Learning Of Probability And Statistics Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon.

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