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Misconception Clarification in Online Graduate Courses

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Design and Implementation of Graduate Education

Tagged Division

Graduate Studies

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Paper Authors


Jennifer Mansfield Arizona State University

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Jennifer Mansfield is an instructional Designer at Arizona State University (ASU). She is housed in the Ira A. Fulton College of Engineering within the Global Outreach and Extended Education (GOEE) department.

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Terry L. Alford Arizona State University

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Dr. Alford holds the rank of professor in the School for the Engineering of Matter, Transport, and Energy. He currently integrates JTF tools and concepts into his on-line course delivery.

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N. David Theodore Arizona State University

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“Muddy Points” (MP) is a commonly used Classroom Assessment Technique (Angelo & Cross, Krause et al.). It is used as an instructional reflection tool to collect feedback about student learning issues and points of confusion. This feedback can then be leveraged to enhance student learning and further optimize an instructor’s course delivery. It also helps to increase instructor presence in a course, as they are able to interact more with students to remove barriers impeding their knowledge creation.

If used appropriately, this method can help students monitor their construction of knowledge and contribute to their self-regulation of learning. This then leads to deeper conceptual learning and improved achievement of their learning goals. It also helps to build a sense of community as students see that others share their struggles and concerns.

In a face-to-face classroom setting, Muddy Points are collected at the end-of-class. We have modified this method and applied it asynchronously to an online class. The Muddy Points methodology includes four steps: 1) collection of student reflections of unclear concepts; 2) assessment of student reflections in order to identify misconceptions that can keep students from achieving learning outcomes; 3) generating formative feedback, and 4) selecting a delivery tool that quickly provides formative feedback to students.

Students can then use this feedback to enhance progress towards their learning goals and build relationships with fellow learners. This paper discusses how MPs were used to assist student success in the context of online course delivery. The methods and digital tools used to help accomplish this task are document as well.

Mansfield, J., & Alford, T. L., & Theodore, N. D. (2018, June), Misconception Clarification in Online Graduate Courses Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--30810

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