Virtual On line
June 22, 2020
June 22, 2020
June 26, 2021
Effective out-of-class homework assignments are critical to the success of an engineering curriculum. The number and length of these assignments play a crucial role in their ability to help students comprehend and retain recently acquired knowledge. Assignments that are too infrequent are often put off until right before the due date, at which point the effort put into completion is typically rushed and haphazard. Frequent assignments must be of proper difficulty, or students can get frustrated with the large amount of time put into the class with disproportionately small returns. The authors of this paper seek to examine the effects of the frequency of these out-of-class assignments on course performance. The Mechanical Engineering department at University X recently switched multiple junior- and senior-level engineering classes away from approximately weekly homework assignments. Students now receive smaller assignments after every lecture. The authors, who are the instructors of these courses, collected student data from several junior-level courses and one senior-level course over a span of three years. Multiple metrics were used for comparison between the two strategies. These metrics include time spent out of class on the course between lectures, homework performance, performance on in-class embedded indicators, and overall course performance. Furthermore, the student population instructed by the department includes a diverse mix of traditional and non-traditional students, including a number of veterans. These non-traditional students were affected in a manner differing from the traditional student body. This paper describes the comparative results of both homework strategies for both traditional and non-traditional engineering undergraduates.
Skenes, K., & Howison, J., & Bierman, E. K. (2020, June), Effects of Out-of-Class Assignment Frequency on Course Performance in Mechanical Engineering Undergraduates Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34510
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