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Formative Feedback: Providing Bioengineering Professors With Quantitative Measures Of Their Teaching

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Assessment in BME Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.578.1 - 8.578.4



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Paper Authors

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Chad Washington

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Alene Harris

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The purpose of this work is to determine the effects of formative, quantitative feedback to bioengineering professors on the teaching of their lessons. For the past three years, members of the assessment thrust of the VaNTH Engineering Research Center at Vanderbilt University have worked to develop an observation instrument to capture specific elements in lesson delivery, including (1) various types of teacher-student interactions, student engagement levels related to type of instruction, levels of indicators reflecting HPL learning theory (knowledge-centeredness, student-centeredness, assessment-centeredness, and community-centeredness) (Bransford et al. 1999), and specific indicators of effective teaching. After three years of testing and revision, we have developed valid, quantitative measurements of the teaching of a lesson. We then set about to organize this data into categories that would profile a classroom lesson and allow professors to self-assess their lesson delivery and student engagement. Based on findings in an unpublished dissertation (Harris, 1988), our hypothesis is that providing the professors with quantitative measurements of specific classroom activities would cause them to modify their teaching in ways that would include more HPL elements and indicators of effective teaching. Professors receive both graphical profiles of various aspects of their teaching and the observer’s additional explanation of specific aspects. We predict that formative feedback will have an effect on professors’ structuring and teaching of lessons. This was supported primarily by the Engineering Research Centers Program of the National Science Foundation under Award Number EEC- 9876363.

Washington, C., & Harris, A. (2003, June), Formative Feedback: Providing Bioengineering Professors With Quantitative Measures Of Their Teaching Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--11899

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