San Antonio, Texas
June 10, 2012
June 10, 2012
June 13, 2012
25.680.1 - 25.680.16
Graduate Teaching Assistant Written Feedback on Student Responses to Problem Identification Questions within an Authentic Engineering ProblemGraduate students are often provided little training on how to evaluate and providefeedback on student work. Yet they are often solely responsible for such grading tasks,particularly in large enrollment courses. This is particularly problematic when studentsare solving are authentic and open-ended problems. Such problems require interpretationof student work in order to provide feedback designed to improve student performanceand learning. This paper is concerned with graduate teaching assistants (GTAs)preparation and training for evaluating and providing written feedback on students’responses to problem identification questions within an authentic engineering problem.Model-Eliciting Activities (MEAs) are open-ended, team-oriented problems set inauthentic engineering contexts. These problems start with problem identificationquestions including: Q1) “Who is the client?” and Q2) “In one of two sentences, whatdoes the client need?”The purpose of this study is to examine the impact of GTA training on GTAs’ writtenfeedback on students’ individual responses to Q1 and Q2. The research questions thatguide this work are: 1) what is the nature of GTA feedback on problem identificationquestions? and 2) what is the source of the written feedback?GTAs’ written feedback on approximately 300 first-year engineering students’ responsesto Q1 and Q2 for one, and the same, MEA implemented in both the year prior to GTAtraining and in the first year of GTA training were analyzed. Open-coding wasperformed on the GTA feedback to characterize the feedback.It was confirmed that in the year prior to GTA training, no or little written feedback wasprovided. In the year of GTA training, for Q1, GTAs either did not write feedback orprovided an answer with little interpretation of students’ responses. For Q2, GTAs oftenprovided general guidance for developing a correct response with some instances ofinterpretation of students’ responses. The primary source of feedback was GTA trainingmaterials.GTA training had a positive impact on GTAs’ written feedback - there was significantlymore written feedback provided. However, evidence of interpretation of student workwas minimal. Future training needs to better highlight the need for engaging in moreinterpretation of students’ responses. Ultimately, GTA feedback needs to be related tostudents’ ability to perform problem identification in subsequent authentic problems.
Ghazali, R., & Diefes-Dux, H. A. (2012, June), Graduate Teaching Assistant Written Feedback on Student Responses to Problem Identification Questions within an Authentic Engineering Problem Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21437
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