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Museink: Seeing And Hearing A Freshman Engineering Student Ink And Think

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2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

ERM Potpourri

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Page Count


Page Numbers

15.898.1 - 15.898.7



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Paper Authors


David Bowman Clemson University

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David R. Bowman is a Lecturer in the General Engineering Program within the Department of
Engineering and Science Education at Clemson University. He is also a Computer Science Ph.D
student in the School of Computing at Clemson University. His educational background includes
a B.S. and M.S. in Computer Engineering from Clemson University.

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Lisa Benson Clemson University

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Lisa Benson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Engineering and Science Education at
Clemson University, with a joint appointment in the Department of Bioengineering. Dr. Benson
teaches first year engineering, research methods, and graduate engineering education courses. Her
research interests include student-centered active learning in undergraduate engineering,
assessment of motivation, and how motivation affects student learning. She is also involved in
projects that utilize Tablet PCs to enhance student learning. Her education includes a B.S. in
Bioengineering from the University of Vermont, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Bioengineering
from Clemson University.

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

MuseInk: Seeing and Hearing a Freshman Engineering Student Ink and Think Abstract

In many fundamental engineering courses, students are required to work problems on paper in order to demonstrate their understanding of course material. In first year engineering courses, there is a huge range of entering skill levels due to differing student backgrounds in math and science. Some students submit highly structured and adequately labeled work that is logical and correct, whereas some other students write down too little or too much information which makes it difficult to assess the procedure the student took to solve a problem.

At Clemson University, we have developed a Tablet PC application called MuseInk that allows students to work problems using a pen and a Tablet PC, which instructors can then evaluate. They can view not only the final submission of the work, but can play back student work (including all Ink strokes and erasures) using controls similar to a DVD player. As a pedagogical tool, MuseInk allows the instructor to play back student work live in class so that the students are exposed to common misconceptions, where they occur, and engage in conversation about how to correct the procedure from a specific point in time within a student submission. In addition, instructors can insert "tags" to mark up student work, much like a traditional assignment, but the student can see what they did wrong, when they did it wrong, and learn how to correct their misconception. This gives instructors richer feedback capabilities than the traditional paper- based method because they're able to temporally evaluate processes rather than attempting to interpret a static image.

We present here the features we're developing in MuseInk to facilitate research on problem solving strategies of freshman engineering students. Using MuseInk, we're able to tag interesting events during playback from a "universe" of tags we're developing to assess procedural and conceptual problem solving knowledge, and visualize the tags using built-in visualization tools. Additionally, MuseInk contains an audio recording capability that allows researchers to implement a think aloud protocol by associating the student’s spoken word to a specific stroke or erasure in their problem solving strategy. This paper discusses the preliminary development of a universe of tags for assessing problems worked in a first year engineering course, initial results from think aloud interviews, and the early visualization tools that will guide our continued work on this study.

Statement of Need

Popular Tablet PC applications like DyKnow1 and Classroom Presenter2 allow instructors to incorporate rapid pen-based feedback on select student work live in class, but are only intended to serve a pedagogical purpose. For our research project, we needed a tool that allowed us to collect digital ink from students so that we can conduct a thorough analysis of the conceptual and procedural strategies each student demonstrated in typical freshman level engineering problems. The tool we needed had to be able to play back each ink stroke and erasure in the order the student committed them to (digital) paper. Being able to watch a student work out an engineering problem gives the researcher a sense of the algorithmic or procedural knowledge

Bowman, D., & Benson, L. (2010, June), Museink: Seeing And Hearing A Freshman Engineering Student Ink And Think Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--15950

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