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Use of Adaptive Learning in an Engineering Technology Course: A Case Study

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Conference

2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Approaches to Encouraging Student Engagement

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Page Count

6

DOI

10.18260/1-2--35441

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/35441

Download Count

79

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Paper Authors

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Nicole Barclay University of North Carolina at Charlotte

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Dr. Barclay is an Assistant Professor of Engineering Technology and Construction Management. Her research interest in engineering education is to evaluate diverse pedagogy strategies within the classroom to create effective learning experiences for students. Her work mainly centers on engineering education for sustainability.

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Carl D. Westine University of North Carolina at Charlotte

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Assistant Professor of Educational Research. Specializes in experimental design and program evaluation of STEM education interventions.

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Angie Claris University of North Carolina at Charlotte

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Angie Claris is a recent graduate with a Masters in Learning, Design, and Technology from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. Her concentration is Training and Development with research and graduate projects including content on instructional multimedia design and the development of online instructional modules.

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Florence Martin University of North Carolina at Charlotte

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Dr. Florence Martin is a Professor in the Learning, Design and Technology program at University of North Carolina Charlotte. She received her Doctorate and Master's degrees in Educational Technology from Arizona State University. Prior to her current position, she was a tenured Associate Professor at University of North Carolina Wilmington. She has also worked on instructional design projects for Shoolini University, Viridis Learning, Maricopa Community College District, University of Phoenix, Intel, Cisco Learning Institute, and Arizona State University and taught online for North Carolina State University and Walden University. She teaches courses on instructional systems technology 100% online. Dr. Martin engages in research focusing on the effective design of instruction and integration of digital technology to improve learning and performance. Her research has resulted in over 60 publications and 100 presentations. Dr. Martin served as the President of Multimedia Production Division in 2012-2013 and as the President of the Division of Distance Learning in 2017-2018 for Association for Educational Communications and Technology. She serves on the advisory council for North Carolina Virtual Public Schools and on the board for International Board of Standards for Training, Performance and Instruction. For her detailed bio visit, https://www.florencemartin.net

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Abstract

This study explores the use of an adaptive learning module implemented in a sophomore level course for engineering technology and construction management students at a four year university. Often times, there is a conflict between an instructor’s teaching style and students’ learner styles in the engineering classroom due to the range of learner styles encountered in courses. Adaptive learning provides personalized learning pathways for students through the use of computers. The just-in-time feedback is an innovative feature of adaptive learning that helps to accomplish a unique student learning environment. While adaptive learning has been explored in other disciplines, there is limited literature in the engineering education context. The research goal of this study is to examine student learning and behavioral engagement when an adaptive learning module is introduced. In addition to the research goal of this study, the instructional goal of this work was to improve student concept comprehension and subject mastery of the learning objectives associated with the topic “Pumps” through the use of adaptive learning. Past performance on the associated assignment from previous semesters showed a need to improve the traditional instruction for this topic. The adaptive learning module was designed to further engage students in personalized instruction, and was used as a supplement to the instructor’s in-class lectures on the topic. The researchers gathered and analyzed 42 students’ data on learning, performance, and user pathways on the adaptive learning platform, Smart Sparrow. Preliminary results show 81 percent demonstrated mastery across all modules. In total, 65 percent interacted with at least one adaptive learning module due to assessment, and 24 percent had more than one interaction. Time spent with the adaptive content was much shorter than the original content interaction, suggesting many students were able to efficiently resolve uncertainty within the lesson. By implementing adaptive learning technology, students experience a tailored learning experience, specific to their learning path towards their mastery of the given topic. Expanded research in the engineering education context can lead to more closely aligning instructors’ teaching styles and students’ learning styles.

Barclay, N., & Westine, C. D., & Claris, A., & Martin, F. (2020, June), Use of Adaptive Learning in an Engineering Technology Course: A Case Study Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35441

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