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Improving High School Math Teachers’ Confidence and Skills in Assessment of Engineering Project-Based Learning

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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

Aspects of Engineering Literacy and Community and Industry Engagement

Tagged Division

Technological and Engineering Literacy/Philosophy of Engineering

Page Count

15

DOI

10.18260/1-2--28489

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/28489

Download Count

237

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Paper Authors

biography

Catherine Garner West Virginia University

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Catherine Garner is a graduate student pursuing a Master of Arts in Educational Psychology with an emphasis in Program Evaluation and Research at West Virginia University and a doctoral degree in Education. She is a former mathematics and physics teacher who is now interested in research involving mathematics instruction.

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Karen E Rambo-Hernandez West Virginia University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-8107-2898

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Karen E. Rambo-Hernandez is an assistant professor of educational psychology in the department of Learning Sciences and Human Development in the College of Education and Human Services at West Virginia University. In her research, she is interested the assessment of student learning- particularly the assessment of academic growth, advanced statistical modeling, issues related to diversity and inclusion in engineering, and the evaluation of curricular changes.

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Afrin Naz West Virginia University Inst. of Tech.

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Dr. Afrin Naz is an assistant professor at the Computer Science and Information Systems department at West Virginia University Institute of Technology. She is working with high school teachers to inspire the K-12 students to the STEM fields. In last four years Dr. Naz and her team launched six workshops for high school teachers. Currently her team is training the high school teachers to offer online materials to supplement their face-to-face classroom.

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Mingyu Lu West Virginia University Institute of Technology

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Mingyu Lu received the B.S. and M.S. degrees in electrical engineering from Tsinghua University, Beijing, China, in 1995 and 1997 respectively, and the Ph.D. degree in electrical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2002. From 1997 to 2002, he was a research assistant at the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering in the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. From 2002 to 2005, he was a postdoctoral research associate at the Electromagnetics Laboratory in the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He was an assistant professor with the Department of Electrical Engineering, the University of Texas at Arlington from 2005 to 2012. He joined the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, West Virginia University Institute of Technology in 2012, and he is currently an associate professor. His current research interests include wireless power transmission, radar systems, microwave remote sensing, antenna design, and computational electromagnetics. He was the recipient of the first prize award in the student paper competition of the IEEE International Antennas and Propagation Symposium, Boston, MA in 2001. He served as the chair of Antennas and Propagation Society of IEEE Fort Worth Chapter from 2006 to 2011.

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Abstract

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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