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The Effect of Peer-Led Review on Exam Performance in Fluid Mechanics

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

Thermodynamics, Fluids and Heat Transfer II

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

24.1205.1 - 24.1205.13



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Paper Authors

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Thomas Shepard University of St. Thomas

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The Effect of Peer-Led Review on Exam Performance in Fluid MechanicsComplex engineering knowledge and skills can sometimes be difficult to learn in a lectureformat from a single instructor. This is due to the fact that the material is presented in a waywhich makes the most sense to the instructor, though it may not be as clear to the student. As theinstructor has likely studied the subject in-depth and taught it many times it can be difficult forthem to recall what was confusing to them when they learned it the first time, while the studentsin the course are keenly aware of where confusion is arising. When students are asked to takeresponsibility for teaching their peers a small amount of material the student must learn thesubject well enough to present it, and the peers being taught get the valuable experience ofseeing the material presented multiple ways.This paper discusses the use of peer-led review in an introductory fluid mechanics course overmultiple semesters. In the peer-led review small teams of students presented a review of materialto the entire class from a specific chapter prior to an exam. The material to be presented wasexamined by the instructor prior to the review to ensure completeness in the coverage. Specificquestions on each of the three course exams were written to test knowledge of materialspecifically reviewed by each peer team. By comparing the performance of the members of areview team with those of the rest of the class on these questions a comparison could be made togage how the act of leading one’s peers in a review of material affects one’s knowledge in agiven area. Additionally, a student’s exam performance was compared on questions relating tochapters which they led a review versus all other questions. It was found that 76% of studentssaw an increase in performance on questions relating to chapters on which they led a review ascompared with all other chapters. Those students who saw an increase in performance had anaverage increase of 14% while the population wide increase was over 8% showing thatparticipating in the exercise had a net positive effect. This paper discuss these results further aswell as the survey results used to gather student impressions on the experience and impact ofleading an in-class review of material for one’s peers.

Shepard, T. (2014, June), The Effect of Peer-Led Review on Exam Performance in Fluid Mechanics Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--23138

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