June 14, 2009
June 14, 2009
June 17, 2009
Educational Research and Methods
14.742.1 - 14.742.18
Insights into the Process of Providing Feedback to Students on Open-Ended Problems Keywords: Feedback, Open-ended problems, Teaching Assistants
One of the challenges of implementing open-ended problems is assessing students’ responses, as the open-ended nature of the problems allow for multiple appropriate, “good” responses. In particular, formative assessment—giving the students feedback on intermediate solutions—can be particularly challenging when it is hoped that students will understand and respond to the feedback in ways that indicate learning has taken place. This study is part of a larger project that focuses on the feedback that the students are given as they iterate through multiple drafts of their solutions to Model-Eliciting Activities (MEAs). In this paper, we report on findings related to Graduate Teaching Assistants’ experiences in providing their students with feedback. Two cases are presented: the experiences of a Teaching Assistant who is new to MEAs, and therefore new to the process of giving feedback on MEA solutions, and the experiences of a more experienced Teaching Assistant.
Engineering educators nationwide as well as globally recognize the need for students to develop teaming and communication skills, proficiency in engineering science and design, as well as an ability to address open-ended problems replete with ambiguity and uncertainty1. One instructional approach to developing these competencies is the use of open-ended, realistic, client-drive problems called Model-Eliciting Activities2. This approach has been used with first year engineering students3,4, as well as upper-level engineering students5. One of the challenges in adopting this approach, however, is assessing students’ responses to the Model-Eliciting Activities, as the open-ended nature of the problems allow for multiple appropriate, “good” responses. In particular, formative assessment—giving the students feedback on intermediate solutions—can be particularly challenging as it is hoped that students will use this feedback to gain new insights into the problem they are solving and produce a higher quality solution in the next iteration.
Model-Eliciting Activities (MEAs)
Model-Eliciting Activities (MEAs) are client-driven, open-ended problems that are constructed using six principles for designing MEAs6 that have been modified for engineering contexts7,2. The intention is to construct realistic engineering problems that (1) require student teams to develop mathematical models for clients and (2) provide a natural window on students’ thinking about the mathematics in the problem context. That is, the problems are “model-eliciting” and “thought-revealing”6. Students’ solutions to these problems are generalizable mathematical models – meaning the models are shareable, modifiable, and reusable tools6. To develop a generalizable mathematical model for a client, students must draw on and make new sense of
Cardella, M., & Diefes-Dux, H., & Oliver, A., & Verleger, M. (2009, June), Insights Into The Process Of Providing Feedback To Students On Open Ended Problems Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--5453
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