Rapid Evaluation On-Line Assessment of Student Learning Gains for Just-In-Time Course Modification
Internet-based multiple-choice assessments administered on a pre/post basis offer rapid and automatic evaluation of student learning outcome achievement. Data from on-line assessments are available instantly with little instructor time or labor, providing feedback rapid enough to facilitate “Just-In-Time Course Modification,” the immediate use of pre/post results by an instructor to adjust content delivery techniques to complement students’ learning styles in the current class. Unlike post-tests alone, which only gauge cumulative knowledge and skill, performance comparisons between a pre-test given prior to content delivery and a post-test given immediately after content delivery quantify what students learned from the class session, providing a direct measure of content delivery effectiveness. This approach also enables comparisons between different content delivery methods. Engineering education practitioners can use this method to test the knowledge base and learning styles of their students and rapidly adjust course content and delivery methods to accommodate the needs of a particular cohort. Here, this assessment technique is validated by showing that it differentiates between student learning outcome achievement arising from a traditional lecture versus an in-class groupbased problem-solving exercise. This result is consistent with previously reported engineering education literature results that use conventional assessment techniques.