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Developing mathematical theories of the physical world: Open Access research on fluid dynamics from Strathclyde

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Experience with classroom feedback systems to enable Socratic dialogue in large engineering classes

Boyle, J.T. and Hamilton, R. and Dempster, W.M. and Nicol, D.J. (2002) Experience with classroom feedback systems to enable Socratic dialogue in large engineering classes. In: 2nd Annual Symposium on Engineering Education, 2002-01-01.

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Abstract

Many studies have demonstrated that concept tests followed by immediate feedback and peer discussion improve students' understanding of difficult concepts in science and engineering. These effects have been shown both in conventional classrooms and in wired classrooms where students respond to concept tests using a 'classroom communication system'. These systems enable interactive learning even with large numbers of students. Little is known, however, about how students experience this method of teaching and learning or about what contributes to their enhanced understanding. To explore this, and its implications for engineering teaching and learning, data is being collected from mechanical engineering students taking an introductory mechanics course using semi-structured interviews, minute papers, critical incident analysis, and questionnaires etc. Data on improvements in conceptual understanding are also being collected. The study examines differences in students responses to, and experiences of three different peer discussion sequences and the contribution of different feedback methods (i.e. computer-generated, peer-generated and tutor-provided) to learning.