Matthew West

Scaling up project-based learning for a large introductory mechanics course using mobile phone data capture and peer feedback

J. W. Sanders, M. West, and G. L. Herman

in Proceedings of the 123rd American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference and Exposition (ASEE 2016), Paper ID #17119, 2016.

Project-based learning (PBL) has been shown to result in many benefits, including improved conceptual understanding and enhanced skills in communication, teamwork, and creativity, all widely acknowledged to be core capabilities for engineers. However, implementations of PBL frequently rely on large course staffs or small class sizes to be effective. In this paper we present a PBL implementation strategy used in an introductory dynamics course at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), which scales up to 500 students per term. This large-scale usage of PBL relies on two key implementation strategies: (1) use of students’ own mobile phones as the primary data capture devices, and (2) computer-mediated peer feedback for the majority of formative assessment. We present project results and student survey data that demonstrate the feasibility of large-scale PBL that achieves student learning outcomes without undue instructor burden.

DOI: 10.18260/p.27341

Full text: SaWeHe2016.pdf