A significant challenge in teaching large civil engineering courses is engaging and providing feedback to students in a meaningful and timely manner. This paper presents a solution that uses e-learning tool Xorro-Q in the successful instruction of a Structures II course of 250+ second year students since 2016 at a research-intensive university in New Zealand.

During the course, Xorro-Q has been utilized as an online practice-based learning tool where students can repeat questions without penalty and automatically receive detailed instructor-developed feedback (diagrams, text, or link to website/video) in response to specific incorrect answers. Additionally, Xorro-Q permits a variety of questions used to promote student proficiency in both calculations and intuition of structural behavior. Some question styles come standard with other online homework interfaces such as multiple choice, numeric or word input, and labelling; others like hotspot images and extended text input are uniquely able to serve the needs of this type of structural engineering course. Together, the grading metrics from Xorro-Q has enabled students to receive useful feedback and instructors a snapshot of student understanding that is necessary to implement just-in-time teaching.

This paper will include examples of structural engineering question styles posed to students in Xorro-Q. Furthermore, it will provide an analysis of student surveys to guide other engineering instructors on utilizing similar e-learning tools in a large enrollment course. To date, the two completed surveys indicate that repetition of questions in Xorro-Q – especially hotspot drawing questions – allowed students to develop confidence in the course topics, and detailed feedback helped them immediately address their conceptual difficulties.


Architectural Engineering

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URL: https://digitalcommons.calpoly.edu/aen_fac/132