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First-Year Engineering Team Responses to Feedback on Their Mathematical Models - A Video Study

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

FPD 10: Teamwork

Tagged Division

First-Year Programs

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.611.1 - 24.611.24



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Paper Authors


Oguz Hanoglu Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Oguz Hanoglu is currently a graduate student at Purdue University in the School of Engineering Education. He received his B.S. in Electrical Engineering from Middle East Technical University (METU), Turkey and M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Bilkent University, Turkey. He conducts research within the First-Year Engineering Program to help the development, implementation, and assessment of model-eliciting activities with authentic engineering contexts. He is also a member of the Network for Computational Nanotechnology (NCN) education team.

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Aladar Horvath Ivy Tech Community College


Heidi A. Diefes-Dux Purdue University, West Lafayette Orcid 16x16

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Heidi A. Diefes-Dux is a 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. She is a member of Purdue’s Teaching Academy. Since 1999, she has been a faculty member within the First-Year Engineering Program, teaching and guiding the design of one of the required first-year engineering courses that engages students in open-ended problem solving and design. Her research focuses on the development, implementation, and assessment of model-eliciting activities with authentic engineering contexts. She is currently the Director of Teacher Professional Development for the Institute for P-12 Engineering Research and Learning (INSPIRE) and a member of the educational team for the Network for Computational Nanotechnology (NCN).

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First-Year Engineering Team Responses to Feedback on Their Mathematical Models- A Video StudyHigh quality formative feedback is an essential component of successful mathematical modeldevelopment. In educational settings, feedback needs to be meaningful to students andstudents need to be able to interpret and respond to the feedback to improve their mathmodels as well as their understanding of mathematical concepts. Pedagogical approaches areneeded to increase the quality of instructor feedback and train students to interpret andappropriately respond to feedback. To develop research-informed approaches, students’thinking from receipt of feedback to action can be explored through an analysis ofdocumented works, such as written feedback and students’ iterative solutions. However, suchapproaches do not reveal the whole story of their interactions with feedback.The purpose of this study is to explore student team responses to teaching assistants’ (TAs’)written feedback while revising their mathematical model. The research question that guidesthis study is: How do student teams respond to feedback and convey their ideas from theirteam discussions in their documented works?In this study, two first-year engineering student teams’ responses to TA feedback on the Just-in-Time Manufacturing Model-Eliciting-Activity (MEA) were explored. In this MEA, afictitious company operates in a just-in-time manufacturing mode. The company needs thestudent teams to develop a procedure to rank eight shipping companies in order of best toleast able to make deliveries on time. Student teams are provided historical data of thenumber of minutes late a shipment arrives. Due to the characteristics of the data set, studentteams’ solutions, formatted as memos, are expected to account for the distribution of thesedata as wells as provide a reasonable strategy to break ties. After submitting their firstsolution draft, student teams receive feedback from their TAs. The two student teams of fourwere videotaped while working to revise their draft. The video data was coded for time spenton each TA feedback item and team member participation. To interpret outcomes of thisanalysis and provide context, student quotes from there video data and documented works(solutions and TA feedback) are used.Both student teams (Team A and Team B) accounted for central tendency and variability ofthe data in their first draft. Both teams received TA feedback advising them to better accountfor distribution of the data, provide a means to break ties, and change some of their memoformat. Both teams spent the bulk of their time discussing distribution and tie breakers. TeamA added another statistical measure of variability. Team B, although having a productivediscussion and coming up with some important ideas to break a tie, kept their previous modeland were content to note that a tie is hardly possible.The feedback from both TAs met the expectations of their training and their support guide.However, the fact that Team A could not get much use out of TA feedback implies that TAsneed to better identify misconceptions and target feedback appropriately. This can be realizedby appropriate changes in the TA support guide and TA training on feedback. Results of theTeam B analysis imply that students need more training on how to respond to TA feedback,specifically how to interpret feedback, budget time, and effectively report the outcomes oftheir discussion.

Hanoglu, O., & Horvath, A., & Diefes-Dux, H. A. (2014, June), First-Year Engineering Team Responses to Feedback on Their Mathematical Models - A Video Study Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20502

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