Postprint version. Published in Proceedings of the IASTED International Conference on Education and Technology-ICET 2005: Calgary, Alberta, CA, July 4, 2005, pages 274-279.
Copyright © 2005 IEEE. Personal use of this material is permitted. Permission from IEEE must be obtained for all other uses, in any current or future media, including reprinting/republishing this material for advertising or promotional purposes, creating new collective works, for resale or redistribution to servers or lists, or reuse of any copyrighted component of this work in other works.
NOTE: At the time of publication, the author John Chen was not yet affiliated with Cal Poly.
In this project our goal is to improve student learning in engineering mechanics courses. The aim to improve learning was accomplished by providing rapid feedback to students of their understanding of key concepts and skills being taught. The feedback system acts as a catalyst to encourage students, working in pairs, to assist each other in correcting misconceptions or deepening each other’s understanding of the concept or skill at hand. Furthermore, the system allows the professor to assess the students’ level of comprehension or misconception in a just-in-time fashion, and thus guide the pace of covering the material. The feedback is enabled through wireless-networked handheld computers or color-coded flashcards. In the first two years of the study, the feedback system was implemented in two sections of a lower-level, core-engineering course, statics, as well as in follow-on courses of dynamics and solid mechanics.