Asee peer logo

Impact of Class Size on Student Perception of Learning and Learning Outcomes in Project-Based Learning

Download Paper |

Conference

2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Project-Based Learning

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Page Count

9

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/28460

Download Count

111

Request a correction

Paper Authors

biography

Sudhir Kaul Western Carolina University

visit author page

Dr. Kaul is an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Western Carolina University. His research interests include Fracture Diagnostics, Structural Dynamics and Control, and Motorcycle Dynamics.

visit author page

biography

Bill Yang Western Carolina University

visit author page

Dr. Yang is currently Associate Professor at Western Carolina University. He holds Ph.D. degree in Electrical Engineering from Princeton University. Prior joining WCU he has worked more than seven years at Bell Laboratories, Lucent Technology, Inc. as Member of Technical Staff and Ciena Corp. as Principal Engineer, doing research in photonic networks and optoelectronics. His teaching interest focuses on the project-based learning (PBL) model of engineering education with self-directed learner as enhanced educational outcome. His research area focuses on optoelectronics, semiconductor lasers, and metamaterials.

visit author page

biography

Robert Scott Pierce P.E. Western Carolina University

visit author page

Robert Scott Pierce is an Associate Professor of physics and engineering at Sweet Briar College in Sweet Briar, Va. He received his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Georgia Tech in 1993. Prior to his teaching career, he spent 13 years in industry designing automated equipment.

visit author page

biography

Wesley L. Stone Western Carolina University

visit author page

Dr. Wes Stone is an associate professor in the School of Engineering and Technology at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, NC. He earned his bachelors degree from the University of Texas at Austin, masters degree from Penn State, and PhD from Georgia Tech, all in Mechanical Engineering. His research interests include manufacturing processes, quality techniques, and outdoor equipment design/testing. He also serves as the program director for Engineering Technology at WCU.

visit author page

Download Paper |

Abstract

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. https://peer.asee.org/28460

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2017 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015