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Measurement of the Effect of Interactive Questions in Lab Manuals on Student Learning

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Conference

2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Approaches to Assessment and Student Reflection

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

14

DOI

10.18260/1-2--34959

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/34959

Download Count

135

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Paper Authors

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Sabrine Griffith Harvey Mudd College

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Sabrine Griffith is pursuing a BS in Engineering with a focus on Biomedical Devices Engineering at Harvey Mudd College and a BS at Claremont McKenna College in Economics. She expects to graduate with these two degrees in May of 2020.

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Spencer Rosen Harvey Mudd College

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Spencer Rosen is a student at Harvey Mudd College pursuing a BS in Engineering with an emphasis on Electrical and Computer Engineering. He expects to graduate in May of 2020.

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Eleanor Byrnes Harvey Mudd College

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Ellie Byrnes is a student at Harvey Mudd College, currently pursuing a BS in Mathematics. Ellie has an interest in doing work in STEM education and expects to graduate from in May of 2021.

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Laura Palucki Blake Harvey Mudd College

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Laura Palucki Blake is the AVP for Institutional Research and Effectiveness at Harvey Mudd College, where her primary role is to coordinate data collection, interpretation and dissemination to support teaching and learning, planning and decision-making across the college.

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Matthew Spencer Harvey Mudd College

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Matthew Spencer is an assistant professor at Harvey Mudd College. His research interests include experiential and hands-on learning, and integrating mechanical, chemical and quantum devices into circuits and communication links.

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Abstract

This research paper will describe the results of an experiment in which two groups of students in a laboratory class received different web-based lab manuals featuring interactive questions, one with many more interactive questions than the other. The hypothesis was that asking students more questions would cause the students to reflect on the task at hand, which would in turn increase learning. This study was motivated by work on experiential learning, particularly Kolb’s Experiential Learning Cycle, which suggests that moving from concrete experiences into reflective observation is essential for learning.

This learning was assessed by direct assessment of students’ performance on an in-lab exam that assessed both theoretical and experimental skills, surveys of self-efficacy administered before and after the treatment, coding student answers to reflection questions in the lab manuals, and counting the number of answers to interactive questions to determine compliance.

Significant results from the experiment indicated that students in the treatment group took longer to complete the lab, felt greater time pressure, performed more poorly on the in-class evaluation, and had fewer metacognitive gains that the control group. The treatment appears to have increased the cognitive load of the laboratory experience and thereby reduced learning.

Griffith, S., & Rosen, S., & Byrnes, E., & Palucki Blake, L., & Spencer, M. (2020, June), Measurement of the Effect of Interactive Questions in Lab Manuals on Student Learning Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34959

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