June 12, 2005
June 12, 2005
June 15, 2005
10.1190.1 - 10.1190.10
Tablet Computers Used for Teaching and Real-Time Assessment of Conceptual Understanding of Engineering Students
Frank V. Kowalski, Susan E. Kowalski, and Luke Campagnola Colorado School of Mines
Abstract: The use of interactive teaching techniques has progressed dramatically with the advent of new technologies. This progress can be divided into two main categories. One is content enhancement while the other is feedback on student understanding. The latter is an important thrust of ABET in improving engineering education. Instantaneous assessment closes the feedback loop, associated with improving teaching, with the shortest time constant.
An important such technology, increasingly common nationwide, is the use of infrared transmitters used by the students to answer multiple-choice questions. The answers are computer-tabulated and displayed via projector to the class as a histogram, providing valuable formative assessment data to both students and instructors. Although the use of this technology is pedagogically sound, one shortcoming, particularly in engineering education, is the necessity of questions in the multiple-choice format. Students have a propensity to guess an answer from the menu given, thereby injecting noise into the feedback loop. This format also makes it more difficult to pose open-ended questions and those that require higher order thinking.
We use mobile technology to explore beyond the collection and tabulation of simple multiple- choice data, to that which includes equations, graphs, and short answers. Furthermore, we combine this technology with technological innovations in the content enhancement category, perhaps best illustrated by the development of applets. The number of available applets continues to increase while the conceptual level is diverse, typically covering high school to advanced undergraduate courses in science and engineering. These content-rich applets are appropriate in both the laboratory and classroom settings.
This combination of student-directed content enhancement and real-time feedback allows more meaningful active learning and a novel, sophisticated level of classroom communication. Instructors receive real-time feedback to questions that probe misconceptions and comprehension, reinforce main concepts and problem-solving strategies, and encourage higher- level thinking skills. This feedback, particularly written responses, increases student metacognition and guides the instructor in addressing student misconceptions.
Introduction The pedagogical potential for interactive teaching techniques has increased dramatically with the advent of new technologies1. This progress can be divided into two main categories. One is content enhancement, such as the development of applets which allow students to utilize the power of computers to manipulate different variables and thereby visualize otherwise difficult concepts. The wealth of free applets available on the Internet continues to increase. The conceptual level is diverse, typically covering high school to advanced undergraduate courses in science and engineering. The other category of significant progress is the use of technology to Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright ©2005, American Society for Engineering Education
Kowalski, S., & Campagnola, L., & Kowalski, F. (2005, June), Tablet Computers Used For Teaching And Real Time Assessment Of Conceptual Understanding Of Engineering Students Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. https://peer.asee.org/14821
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