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Work in Progress: Wrappers vs. Experts

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2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Works in Progress in Chemical Engineering Education

Tagged Division

Chemical Engineering

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Carl F. Lund University at Buffalo Orcid 16x16

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Carl Lund earned a B.S. from Purdue University and a Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin, both in chemical engineering. He worked at the Exxon Corporate Research Labs prior to joining the faculty of the Chemical Engineering Department at the University at Buffalo. He is currently a SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor in the Chemical and Biological Engineering Department and the chair of the Department of Engineering Education.

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Homework wrappers are follow-up assignments that ask students to reflect upon their thought processes at the time they were completing a homework assignment. Effectively, a homework wrapper asks a student to self-generate feedback on their homework solution. In this study, students in a problem-solving course, specifically kinetics and reaction engineering, have been explicitly instructed how to identify different problem types. For each problem type, a generalized approach for solving that type of problem has been explicitly presented. The students were further told that being able to identify a problem's type and recalling the general approach for solving that type of problem are essential skills that will be needed when they take exams or other forms of assessment. The course is taught in a flipped-class format, and during class time the students practice problem-type identification and application of the general approach for solving that problem type by completing scaffolded learning activities. For one particular problem type, the students then completed four successive homework assignments, graded only on the basis of effort. After each of these assignments they were assigned a homework wrapper that asked them to assess whether they followed the general approach for solving that problem type, and if not, to identify the point(s) where their approach diverged. A content expert independently examined the students' solutions and indicated whether, and if so, where, they diverged from the general approach. The goals of this study are to determine how accurate wrapper-generated self-assessments are, to determine whether the accuracy of wrapper-generated self-assessments increases as more wrappers are completed and to identify trends in wrapper-generated self-assessments. In the first course offering studied, for one specific problem type it was found that the self-assessments agreed with the expert assessments in 43% of the cases examined. Overall, the agreement between self-generated and expert assessment did not appear to change in a systematic manner as the number of wrappers completed increased.

Lund, C. F. (2021, July), Work in Progress: Wrappers vs. Experts Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. 10.18260/1-2--38211

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