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Strategies and Tools for Engaging and Assessing Students with Cyber Learning by Interactive Frequent Formative Feedback (CLIFF) in Core Materials Classes

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

NSF Grantees' Poster Session

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.1178.1 - 25.1178.13



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Paper Authors


Stephen J. Krause Arizona State University

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Stephen J. Krause is professor in the School of Materials in the Fulton School of Engineering at Arizona State University. He teaches in the areas of bridging engineering and education, capstone design, and introductory materials engineering. His research interests include evaluating conceptual knowledge, misconceptions and their repair, and conceptual change. He has co-developed a Materials Concept Inventory for assessing conceptual knowledge of students in introductory materials engineering classes. He is currently conducting research on misconceptions and development of strategies and tools to promote conceptual change in materials courses.

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Jacquelyn E. Kelly Arizona State University

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Jacquelyn Kelly is doctoral candidate in science education at Arizona State University. Her master’s degree is in materials science and engineering and her undergraduate degree is in physics and chemistry. Her principle research interests are situated in engineering education and include conceptual development, engineering academic language acquisition, and the role of motivation and emotion on these things.
She is also invested and passionate about K-12 education as she teaches physics, chemistry, and science foundations at New School for the Arts and Academics, an alternative arts high school.

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Dale R. Baker Arizona State University

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Dale Baker is the former editor of the Journal of Research in Science Teaching and a member of the editorial board of JEE. She is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the American Educational Research Association, as well as an affiliate of the Learning Sciences Institute at Arizona State University. Her research focuses on equity issues in STEM, engineering education, and teacher professional development.

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Strategies and Tools for Engaging Students in Introductory Materials ClassesStrategies and tools have been developed to promote student engagement in introductorymaterials classes based on three major principles from the book, How People Learn. The firstprinciple is that instructors should be aware of and utilize students' prior knowledge to informinstruction. Prior knowledge and misconceptions are assessed at semester beginning with aMaterials Concept Inventory (MCI) while conceptual change is assessed at semester end bygiving the MCI again and calculating Hake gains. More detail on misconceptions and conceptualgain for five specific topics is determined with multiple-choice, pre-post topical concept quizzes.The second principle is for instructors to actively engage students with one another to promotedevelopment of their own deep conceptual knowledge. One tool set for doing this is clickerquestions, or Materials Conceptests (MCTs), 104 multiple choice-questions that cover the ninetopics in introductory materials. When used in class, both students and instructors can assessstudent learning. The MCI and CTs are available for real-time use by googling beta web sites and AiChE Concept Warehouse. Another tool to promote conceptual developmentis a set of Homework Preview Problem Concept Map Quizzes where students must fill in blankson diagrams of conceptual connections of materials structure and properties. These are availableat Also, to engage students in content from mini-lectures, Materials ClassroomActivities (MCAs) have been created for every class and are found at Finally,the third principle is for instructors to foster student metacognition. This is done with an end-of-class Reflection Points question set that requests students to briefly describe (anonymously) theirown class points of: interest; muddiness; and learning about learning. The instructor can then usethe responses as feedback immediately at the next class beginning to address students' muddypoints or other issues. Midterm and course-end Support of Student Learning Surveys showstrong support for these strategies and tools with over 70% of students desiring use of thesestrategies in other courses. Assessment results of teaching by student engagement, comparedwith earlier lecture-based classes by the same instructor, showed an increase in persistence ofstudents completing the class that rose from 85% to 95%. Background and results will bediscussed in greater detail in the full paper.

Krause, S. J., & Kelly, J. E., & Baker, D. R. (2012, June), Strategies and Tools for Engaging and Assessing Students with Cyber Learning by Interactive Frequent Formative Feedback (CLIFF) in Core Materials Classes Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21935

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