June 24, 2017
June 24, 2017
June 28, 2017
New Engineering Educators
Increasing Student Engagement and Motivation by Replacing Homework with Assignment-Quizzes
Digital access to data and reference materials has reshaped student learning and problem solving habits. The ability to query databases and forums for answers to daily questions invites students to believe that engineering solutions too, should be available with the potential to be leveraged in their education. These paradigms present challenges for cultivating student motivation, maintaining academic integrity and, ensuring deeper learning objectives are met because they invite the habit of “searching” for solutions instead of producing them. This study evaluates a paradigm shift with respect to course assessments by using Assignment-Quizzes as an innovative means to improve student engagement.
For each course, students are provided an inventory of problems along with detailed solutions and supplemental explanations as worked out by the instructor. Within a week, the instructor offers a quiz that includes a problem directly from the inventory. This method was motivated by the belief that providing reference material allows students to shift their focus and energy from searching for solutions to engaging the solution process thus enabling them to operate within a higher cognitive domain – shifting from understanding to application, analysis and evaluation. The quiz assessment replaces the homework weight for the course thereby transforming the manner in which the instructor assesses student work product (i.e. precludes the prevalence of copying solutions). Along with each problem inventory, a “challenge problem” is given for which no solutions are provided. This problem is open-ended in nature and builds upon the concepts in the basic inventory. Scaffolding for the “challenge” is presented during lecture and students are encouraged work in teams to submit to a solution. This technique is well suited for new instructors looking to increase student engagement and motivation.
Three separate engineering classes from three separate departments (Civil and Environmental Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Mechanical Engineering) simultaneously adopted Assignment-Quizzes. An anonymous survey was used to collect information on student perceptions using Likert scales and prompts such as “I am more likely to study because of Assignment-Quizzes” and to gauge confidence, interest and motivation. With a response rate over 55% across all three departments, the analysis of 178 responses show that about 70% of respondents across disciplines report improved confidence and engagement with the material and over 80% of all respondents, across disciplines, “Agree” and or “Strongly Agree” that they learn from Assignment-Quizzes. Over 55% of respondents indicate a stronger interest in the material because of Assignment-Quizzes and over 75% of all respondents indicate a stronger interest in their fields of study.
Schmidt, D. E., & Sanchez, D. V., & Dickerson, S. J. (2017, June), Increasing Student Engagement and Motivation by Replacing Homework with Assignment-Quizzes Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28519
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