June 15, 2019
June 15, 2019
October 19, 2019
Electrical and Computer
Differentiated instruction (DI) is a teaching approach in which learning experiences are designed and adapted to meet students’ individual and diverse needs in order to facilitate student success. This approach has been advocated in K-12 classes, but has not been used extensively in college courses and STEM/Engineering courses in particular. When one considers that significant student diversity still exists beyond high school graduation, a strong argument can be made for the benefit of implementing DI strategies in a college course environment. This paper presents the findings of an initial implementation of DI for a module of a circuit analysis course. This implementation involved diversifying course content and the learning process based on formative assessments of student readiness. The effectiveness of this approach was evaluated using a student survey and test scores. The student survey indicates that the majority of students had a positive assessment of their learning experience using the DI approach. The test results of the DI group were compared to the test results of a non-DI group using an independent samples t-test. T-test results did not indicate a statistical improvement in test results for the treatment group over the control group. The instructor evaluation of DI is that it has the potential to improve student performance based on the more individualized nature of the teaching approach, but a potential impediment to the successful implementation of this approach is the data acquisition and analysis tasks associated with formative assessment, which may become prohibitively burdensome with large class sizes and few contact hours. One way to overcome this impediment is to devise ways to provide feedback on a larger scale than on an individual basis and devise methods to automate the differentiation process.
Chin, C. A., & Worthy, R. W., & Colebeck, D. (2019, June), Evaluation of the Differentiated Instruction Approach for an Electrical Engineering Circuit Analysis Module Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32767
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