June 24, 2017
June 24, 2017
June 28, 2017
Technological and Engineering Literacy/Philosophy of Engineering
Improving High School Math Teachers’ Confidence and Skills in Assessment of Engineering Project-Based Learning
National Science Foundation (2016) reports indicate low participation in STEM education. Teachers can increase STEM interest and improve student learning by incorporating engineering project-based learning into high school mathematics classrooms. Project-based learning (PBL) can improve students’ attitudes toward learning, team communication, and collaboration skills (Han, R. Capraro, & Capraro, 2015). Marx, Blumenfeld, Krajcik, and Soloway (1997) found that many teachers lack the skills to design effective assessments of PBL, so its benefits often go unnoticed. The purpose of this study was to improve teachers’ confidence and skills in assessment of PBL by teaching teachers to create assessment blueprints based in classical test theory (Novick, 1966) and use the assessment data to measure mastery of PBL content objectives.
In-service and pre-service teachers (N = 22) attended a one-week PBL workshop. They engaged with multiple engineering concepts, developed projects for classroom use, and created blueprints and corresponding assessments to measure student learning through engineering-based PBL. A survey was given to teachers before and after the workshop to collect data on teachers’ confidence in the use of technology, the inclusion of engineering content, and confidence in implementing PBL. Items from Teacher Conceptions of Assessment (Brown, 2004) were also included in the survey. The research team evaluated blueprints and assessments created by the teachers. And during the school year following the workshop, teachers implemented engineering PBL and used the assessments that they created to measure students’ learning through PBL. Prior to the workshop, survey data indicated that teachers lacked confidence in their ability to create assessments of PBL, incorporate PBL into their classrooms, and use assessments to inform instruction.
Paired sample t-tests indicated that teachers demonstrated a statistically significant increase in confidence to (a) use technology to enhance instruction, (b) improve student learning, (c) create assessments of PBL, and (d) incorporate PBL into instruction through computer graphics, electrical engineering, and mechanical engineering content. Additionally, their students demonstrated greater understanding of mathematical content after participating in the engineering-based PBL. Through a highly-targeted workshop, teachers’ confidence in implementing and assessing engineering-based PBL dramatically increased as did student mathematical understanding. Implications, limitations, and future directions are discussed.
Garner, C., & Rambo-Hernandez, K. E., & Naz, A., & Lu, M. (2017, June), Improving High School Math Teachers’ Confidence and Skills in Assessment of Engineering Project-Based Learning Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28489
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