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Instructional Effectiveness: A Real Time Feedback Approach Using Statistical Process Control (Spc)

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Technology and Tools for IE Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.746.1 - 9.746.8

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Paper Authors

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Leonard Perry

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session #3157

Instructional Effectiveness: A Real-time Feedback Approach using Statistical Process Control (SPC)

Leonard A. Perry University of San Diego


Are students satisfied with their courses? Students are typically requested to assess the course and instruction at the end of the semester. Course evaluations report student ratings of instruction in order to provide feedback to the instructor and administration. Although this feedback may provide long-term insight into instructional effectiveness, it cannot be used to provide real-time information to the instructor.

There are assessment techniques that provide real-time course assessment, but none that monitor assessment trends over time based on some standards. Statistical Process Control is a method used to monitor quality characteristics and determine the capability of the process over time. In a classroom, SPC can allow the instructor to monitor multiple predetermined course attributes associated with class lectures such as course organization, efficient use of class, or instructor enthusiasm. The instructor can use this feedback to monitor their effectiveness and make improvements before the course is over. The paper presents an overview of the SPC process and a case study that explores the application of SPC within an engineering course.


In recent years, much focus has been placed on course and student assessment, but instructional assessment has not received the attention it deserves. Many tenure-track professors in the United States are evaluated heavily on their research contributions to the university, but for other universities, quality instruction is a top priority.

What is quality instruction? ASCE ExCEEd Teaching workshops define “good teaching” based on the ExCEEd (Excellence in Civil Engineering Education) Teaching Model1. The six main focus areas of the teaching model include; structured organization, engaging presentation, enthusiasm, positive rapport with students, frequent assessment of student learning, and appropriate use of technology. Seymour and Hewitt2 were able to quantify what students considered “bad teaching” by interviewing several math, science, and engineering students. The list included such things as inadequate preparation, preoccupation with research, inability to communicate, presenting material at too high of a level, and not understanding how students learn. We will focus on the aspects of “good teaching”.

“Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright© 2004, American Society for Engineering Education”

Perry, L. (2004, June), Instructional Effectiveness: A Real Time Feedback Approach Using Statistical Process Control (Spc) Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah.

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