April 20, 2017
April 20, 2017
April 22, 2017
Diversity and Pacific Southwest Section
To help with instructor teaching and student learning in STEM courses, various methods such as two-way formative feedback, flipped classrooms, and project-based learning have been used to enhance student learning, participation, attitude, and overall achievement. This longitudinal study, conducted over four consecutive semesters, assesses students' skills in innovation, prototyping, and design through a project-based course. Students were given 16 weeks to develop a functional gamma prototype that would be scored by external experts and teaching assistants. Furthermore, the scores would be compared to actual performance on a design challenge (DC). The gamma prototype is board game that functions as a teaching tool of the prototyping pathway for medical device design. The use of external experts and teaching assistants for validation asked the following research question: “Can external experts and teaching assistants effectively evaluate student performance in (1) innovation, (2) prototyping, and (3) design?”
The focus of the course is the development of a gamma prototype board game as a surrogate for enhancing skills needed in medical device design. In the course, students are placed into groups, and while completing the board game; students are encouraged to consider aspects of innovation, product design, prototyping, and fabrication. Throughout the 16-week course, students learn various bioengineering design, analysis, and decision-making techniques as well as the fundamentals of business and technical management. Additionally, student’s actually performance in innovation, prototyping, and design is measured based off the instructors scoring of the DC.
The board game prototype assessment by the external experts and teaching assistants is scored and grouped into innovation, prototyping, and design. The study compares student performance on the DC to scores given by external experts and teaching assistants. By comparing students’ actual performance on the DC to the prototype score, the grading accuracy of external experts and teaching assistants can be evaluated. This junior-level biomedical engineering course is tasked with not only teaching important concepts, such as innovation, prototyping, and design, but tighter evaluation of the learned concepts.
The data generated across four semesters showed statistical significance. Teaching assistants across semesters typically ranked students higher in the three categories than external experts. The percent change seen between external experts and teaching assistants was 19% for innovation, 26% for prototyping, and 15% for design. Furthermore, coefficient of variance for external experts was on average below 5% as compared to 10% for teaching assistants. The results from this study offer insight into the benefits of including external experts, as a resource to better evaluate student performance in innovation, prototyping, and design.
Malkoc, A., & Honikel, M., & La Belle, J. T. (2017, April), Longitudinal Assessment of External Experts and Teaching Assistants as a Class Resource Paper presented at 2017 Pacific Southwest Section Meeting, Tempe, Arizona. https://peer.asee.org/29224
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