Innovation grant funds new assessment tools

Scott Bartholomew works with students at East Tipp Middle School.

An Instructional Innovation Program grant has allowed two engineering/technology teacher education professors to implement a different form of feedback and assessment in their Purdue University courses and elsewhere.

Scott Bartholomew and Greg Strimel, both assistant professors, received a grant to begin their program titled “Improving Student Learning through Formative Feedback with CompareAssess Technologies.” The grant is funded by the offices of the Provost and the Vice President for Information Technology to promote innovations including creative pedagogies, active learning and other new and emerging approaches to teaching.

As part of their project, the professors are providing formative feedback, which is constructive feedback provided during the process of designing and creating, to their students this spring. In addition, they are using the CompareAssess software to assess student work. Instead of using a point-scale and grading rubric, they are shown two pieces of student work and choose the best one. A series of pairs are shown progressively, and then an advanced algorithm uses the results to rank, in order, the student work.

Greg Strimel works with East Tipp Middle School students.“We anticipate that by providing students formative feedback during their own creative endeavors they will excel faster than their peers who only receive feedback at the end,” Bartholomew says.

The Instruction Innovation grant has helped pay for the software and for one graduate student to facilitate the development and implementation process. Strimel and Bartholomew have also partnered with Noble Crossing Elementary in Noblesville, Indiana, and Creekside Middle School in Carmel, Indiana, to test the new approaches to assessment at different grade levels.

“We also plan to turn students into judges, asking them to formatively assess their peers,” Strimel says. “We believe this will help inform their design process as they both give and receive feedback.”

The formative feedback project was one of only five proposals funded in Fall 2016. Read more about the Instruction Innovation grant program.



People in this Article: