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Does Student Satisfaction Equal Learning? A Differentiated Design Strategy for Course Improvement: Lessons Learned from Learning Outcomes and Grade Distribution

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2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Tampa, Florida

Publication Date

June 15, 2019

Start Date

June 15, 2019

End Date

October 19, 2019

Conference Session

Student Learning and Success

Tagged Division

Biological and Agricultural Engineering

Tagged Topic


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Paper Authors


J. Martin Chernosky Texas A&M University Orcid 16x16

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J.Martin Chernosky is the Learning Architect for the Studio of Advanced Instruction and Learning for the College of Engineering at Texas A&M University. He earned a B.A. in Education, an M.Ed. in Adult Learning and Technology from Western Governors University, and an Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from the American College of Education. With over 25 years in dynamic adult education settings ranging from the Federal Government to Fortune 200 companies, he created numerous high-stakes national and international technical curriculums. Engineering emerging technologies for the safety of the nation was a priority. He is a proponent and practitioner of competency-based learning, international engineering education, active learning, and constructivist approaches, especially gamification.

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Sunay Palsole Texas A&M University

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Dr. Sunay Palsole is the assistant vice chancellor for remote engineering education at Texas A&M University, and has been involved in academic technology for more than 20 years. He is charged with developing strategic innovative solutions for remote engineering education and advancing the mission and goals of the college for both academic and nonacademic courses for College Station and regional campuses. This will include developing online, blended, distance and open programs and courses upholding high standards of quality and rigor.
Over the last year, he has helped engage with departments to increase distance learning offerings and enrollments, and helped establish the Engineering Studio for Advanced Instruction and Learning (eSAIL). Prior to Texas A&M, he was the associate vice provost for digital learning at The University of Texas at San Antonio, where he led teams focused on enhancing the learner and teaching experiences across all spaces. His focus on learning data and an outcomes-based approach has led to the development and adoption of design strategies that measure learning and teaching efficacies across his service in various institutions of higher education. .

A geophysicist by academic training, he began to design multimedia applications for teaching and learning in the late 1990’s, developing his first online course in 1996. Since then, he has helped a few hundred faculty from varied disciplines develop hybrid and online courses. He has also taught traditional, hybrid and online courses ranging in size from 28 to 250. He is also co-developer of a Digital Academy which was a finalist for the Innovation Award by the Professional and Organizational Development Network and an Innovation Award winner. He was recently named as the Center for Digital Education’s Top 30 Technologists, Transformers and Trailblazers for 2016.

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Valentini A. Pappa Texas A&M University

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Energy Institute, Texas A&M

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Jeffrey D. Sammons Texas A&M University

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Associate Director, Texas A&M Energy Institute

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There has been an increasing need for qualified engineers worldwide, and yet even with expanding engineering programs, positions remained unfilled and projects suffer from lack of qualified engineers. Data suggest that most students who began the pursuit of an engineering career failed to complete the required training and earn the credential. Studies have indicated that this dropout rate had a high correlation to the students learning experiences, and this was exacerbated in programs designed for adult learners. A graduate program designed for adult learners at a large university in the southwest needed to undergo a program redesign and was chosen for this study. We wanted to identify the key elements of adult student engagement and satisfaction, and develop an instructional design model to address these elements. The mixed methods study utilized the three elements (social, teaching, and cognitive presences) of the Community of Inquiry as the theoretical lens. The study attempted to identify the relationship between satisfaction rates and the performance of students indicated by grades, learning objectives, and dropout rates. Course design components, which were the greatest predictor of student satisfaction in a blended course, were explored as well as the corresponding grade distribution. The satisfaction and grade distribution data of three courses were compared pre and post treatment considering the inclusion of differentiated improvement elements. The findings of the study can address gaps in course design, which could provide faculty and instructional designers the opportunity to improve the present design practices. Through an evaluation of the quality of courses, satisfaction standards could be established. The correlation between student satisfaction and grade distribution could lead to further advances in course design.

Chernosky, J. M., & Palsole, S., & Pappa, V. A., & Sammons, J. D. (2019, June), Does Student Satisfaction Equal Learning? A Differentiated Design Strategy for Course Improvement: Lessons Learned from Learning Outcomes and Grade Distribution Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32680

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