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Evaluation Of Peerwise As An Educational Tool For Bioengineers

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Conference

2010 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Pedagogical Developments in BME

Tagged Division

Biomedical

Page Count

11

Page Numbers

15.540.1 - 15.540.11

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/16460

Download Count

202

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Paper Authors

biography

Paul Denny University of Auckland

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Paul Denny is an instructor in the Computer Science Department at the University of Auckland in New Zealand. In addition to Computer Science Education, his research interests include collaborative student learning and he created the PeerWise tool to support this approach.

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biography

Beth Simon University of California, San Diego

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Beth Simon is a Lecturer with the Potential for Security of Employment in the Computer Science and Engineering Department at the University of California, San Diego. Her research interests include educational technology and computer science education research.

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biography

Melissa Micou University of California, San Diego

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Melissa Micou is a Lecturer with the Potential for Security of Employment in the Department of Bioengineering at the University of California, San Diego. Her interests include identifying novel strategies to integrate teaching and research and enhancing the recruitment and retention of underrepresented populations in engineering. Dr. Micou is the program director of an NSF-sponsored Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) program in Regenerative Medicine, Multi-Scale Bioengineering, and Systems Biology.

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Abstract
NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Evaluation of PeerWise as an Educational Tool for Bioengineers

Abstract

There is a need to develop, validate, and widely implement tools that incorporate proven educational strategies including collaborative learning, active learning, and peer tutoring. PeerWise is an innovative, web-based system in which students create multiple-choice questions and answer those created by their classmates. Creating the question bank, rather than just accessing an existing one transforms students from passive recipients to active learners. The objectives of this study were to characterize the use of PeerWise in a lower division bioengineering course and to measure its efficacy in improving student learning. Students who used PeerWise performed significantly better on the final exam compared to minimally active users. PeerWise was easy to implement, placing almost no burden on the instructor, and the majority of students in the class used it voluntarily to study for their exam. These findings demonstrate the potential of PeerWise to be a powerful and widely used educational tool for bioengineers.

Introduction

Research in science and engineering education has identified strategies to improve student learning, including: learning communities, collaborative learning, active learning, peer review, and peer tutoring1-4. There is a need to build on this knowledge by developing, validating, and widely implementing educational tools that incorporate these proven strategies.

PeerWise is an innovative, web-based tool that exploits the familiarity students have with user- generated content, as exemplified by popular sites such as YouTube, to create an online learning community. Specifically, PeerWise provides a framework for students to work collaboratively with their classmates to create a large repository of multiple-choice questions. Creating the question bank, rather than just accessing an existing one, transforms students from passive recipients to active learners. To author a high quality question a student must understand the topic in depth, consider misconceptions when proposing distracters (plausible but incorrect answers), and write a clear explanation for the correct answer. Once a question has been submitted, other students in the course can use the question for self-assessment, learn from the explanations, evaluate the quality of the question, and participate in a discussion thread by offering additional explanations or posting comments. The process of evaluating the quality of a question and corresponding explanation require behaviors at the very highest level in Bloom’s taxonomy of the cognitive domain 5,6. By establishing a learning community that incorporates collaborative learning, active learning, peer review, and peer tutoring, PeerWise has the potential to be a powerful teaching tool.

Since its development in 2007 at the University of Auckland, more than fifteen thousand students at twenty-three different institutions have used PeerWise worldwide. Rigorous evaluation of PeerWise in computer science courses has shown that student-generated questions cover the full range of topics within a course and are generally high quality 7,8. Student attitudes toward PeerWise are overwhelmingly positive as demonstrated by the finding that students

Denny, P., & Simon, B., & Micou, M. (2010, June), Evaluation Of Peerwise As An Educational Tool For Bioengineers Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. https://peer.asee.org/16460

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2010 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015