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Feedback and Assessment of Student Work on Model-Eliciting Activities: Undergraduate Teaching Assistants’ Perceptions and Strategies

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Conference

2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Educational Research and Methods Potpourri I

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Page Count

21

Page Numbers

22.712.1 - 22.712.21

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/17993

Download Count

22

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Paper Authors

biography

Raghavi Merugureddy Purdue University

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Raghavi Merugureddy is a Senior in School of Industrial Engineering at Purdue University with minors in Electrical Engineering and Mathematics. Since 2007, she has been a member of Purdue’s Society of Women Engineers (SWE), and Women in Engineering Program (WIEP). She has been a Vice President of Marketing for American Indian Foundation (AIF) chapter at Purdue from 2007 to 2008. Her research interest is on TA’s assessment of student’s open-ended solution on Model Eliciting Activities (MEAs).

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Amani Salim Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Amani Salim is a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering (ABE) at Purdue University, and was previously a postdoctoral researcher in the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University. She receives her B.Sc. and M.Sc. in Electrical Engineering from University of Minnesota Twin Cities, and her Ph.D. in BioMEMS and Microelectronics from Weldon School of Biomedical Engineering at Purdue University. Her engineering education research focuses on problem formulation within Model-Eliciting-Activities (MEAs) and engineering education, and professional development of teaching assistants.

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Heidi A. Diefes-Dux Purdue University, West Lafayette Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-3635-1825

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Heidi Diefes-Dux is an Associate Professor in the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University. She received her B.S. and M.S. in Food Science from Cornell University and her Ph.D. in Food Process Engineering from the Department of Agricultural and Biological Engineering at Purdue University. Since 1999, she has been a faculty member in Purdue’s First-Year Engineering Program, the gateway for all first-year students entering the College of Engineering. She is currently the Director of Teacher Professional Development for the Institute for P-12 Engineering Research and Learning (INSPIRE). Her research interests center on implementation and assessment of mathematical modeling problems.

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Monica E. Cardella Purdue University, West Lafayette Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/https://0000-0002-4229-6183

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Monica E. Cardella is an Assistant Professor of Engineering Education and is the Co-Director of Assessment Research for the Institute for P-12 Engineering Research and Learning (INSPIRE) at Purdue University. Dr. Cardella earned a B.Sc. in Mathematics from the University of Puget Sound and an M.S. and Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering at the University of Washington. At the University of Washington she worked with the Center for Engineering Learning and Teaching (CELT) and the LIFE Center (Learning in Informal and Formal Environments). She was a CASEE Postdoctoral Engineering Education Researcher at the Center for Design Research at Stanford before beginning her appointment at Purdue. Her research interests include: learning in informal and out-of-school time settings, pre-college engineering education, design thinking, mathematical thinking, and assessment research.

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Abstract

Feedback and Assessment of Student Work on Model-Eliciting Activities: Teaching Assistants’ Perceptions and StrategiesModel-Eliciting-Activities (MEAs) are open-ended engineering problems set in realisticcontexts. Due to the open-ended nature, it can be challenging for instructors to assess students’solutions and provide good feedback. In the setting for this study, Teaching Assistants (TAs)contribute significantly to the implementation of MEAs in a first-year engineering course. TAsare the main source of information, feedback, and assessment for the students. As such, the TAs’input is greatly valued and vital to student success. Providing the TAs with appropriateevaluation materials and training is critical for both TA and student success.Since 2002, graduate teaching assistants (GTAs) have been primarily responsible for theimplementation of MEAs. Their professional development has focused on building a consistentinterpretation of a high quality response to a given MEA and the consistent application of thedimensions of a MEA Rubric. However, in Fall 2009, Undergraduate Teaching Assistants(UGTA) replaced most of the GTAs. This created a need for modifications to the TAprofessional development with MEAs. The purpose of this survey was to understand the impactof this modified training. We sought to 1) understand the TAs’, especially the UGTAs’,perceptions of their ability to apply the four dimensions of the MEA Rubric during feedback andassessment of student work on MEAs and 2) identify the strategies TAs employ to conductfeedback and assessment.This survey was modeled after, and using responses from, interview protocols used with GTAsin 2008-09. The resulting survey, consisting of closed-ended questions and accompanying open-ended questions that allow respondents to provide explanation, was conducted via a web-basedinterface at the end of Spring 2010. Thirty-six (36) TAs participated in this survey and of those82% were peer teachers, 8% were undergraduate graders, and 10% were GTAs.Results indicate that a majority of the TAs felt they had difficulty with the Mathematical Modeland Modifiability dimensions of the MEA Rubric. One TA wrote, ““I belive this dimension[Mathematical Model] was most difficult to assess because it forced the grader to deal with moreloosely defined criteria…” Further modifications to the TA professional development or MEARubric should focus on clarifying these two dimensions.In addition, of all the reference materials available for TAs to use while grading and providingfeedback, a few, such as MEA IMAP –Grading Guide, data sets for the MEA, MEA Rubriconline, and Expert feedback from online training, were found to be the most useful to the TAs.The TAs always had these open or available during feedback or at least referenced theseperiodically. Future studies can be conducted on how TAs use of these materials; this wouldinform improvements in their feedback and assessment strategies.This paper emphasizes that TA professional development is a vital component of successfulstudent education. Therefore, conducting TA exit surveys and addressing issues raised arecritical steps in improving the quality of TA participation in the teaching endeavor.

Merugureddy, R., & Salim, A., & Diefes-Dux, H. A., & Cardella, M. E. (2011, June), Feedback and Assessment of Student Work on Model-Eliciting Activities: Undergraduate Teaching Assistants’ Perceptions and Strategies Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. https://peer.asee.org/17993

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