June 24, 2017
June 24, 2017
June 28, 2017
Educational Research and Methods
This research paper evaluates the influence of class size in a project-based learning course. The impact of the student-faculty ratio and the overall class size on the learning process has been discussed and debated in the pedagogical literature for many years.1, 2 A significant number of these studies has been particularly limited to K-12 education, generating a passionate discussion on public policy and cost of education. There is relatively limited data on the impact of class size on undergraduate engineering education. This study investigates the influence of class size on the learning process by evaluating student perception of learning and the achievement of learning outcomes. Assessment data and an end-of-semester survey are used as the two main metrics. The investigation is carried out in a junior-level course focused on project-based learning (PBL). The course is mandatory for engineering and engineering technology majors. For this study, data from two sections of the course that were taught during Spring 2016 by the same instructor has been used. One of the sections consisted of 19 students while the other section had 32 students. However, the course content, teaching methodology, evaluation rubrics, project description, and multidisciplinary team composition were identical in both sections. All students in both sections were juniors, and had already taken two project-based courses at freshmen and sophomore levels. The student perception of learning has been evaluated by using the institutional procedure for the measurement of Student Assessment of Instruction (SAI). The learning outcomes have been directly assessed by using project reports, assignments, essays, etc. that were submitted by students in both sections throughout the semester. A preliminary evaluation of the data demonstrates that the student perception of learning is higher when the class size is smaller. Also, the performance indicators for learning outcomes indicate that the smaller section performs better. An outline of the study is provided in this paper along with a presentation of the data and some discussion on the impact of the study.
Kaul, S., & Yang, B., & Pierce, R. S., & Stone, W. L. (2017, June), Impact of Class Size on Student Perception of Learning and Learning Outcomes in Project-Based Learning Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28460
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