Math Faculty Teaching Seminar

Wednesday, July 21, 2021 12:00 pm - 12:00 pm EDT (GMT -04:00)

Ryan Clemmer and Sarah DeDecker, University of Guelph

"Designing Assessments to Encourage Problem Analysis"

Review of student performance data on assessments at the University of Guelph’s School of Engineering suggest students may be relying on memorization as their learning and studying approach. If the goal of higher education is to foster higher-order cognitive skills, such as problem analysis, improvements in curriculum content and assessment design are needed. A Problem Analysis Assessment Design (PAAD) framework was developed to aid in the design of assessments to encourage problem analysis (PA) skill development and discourage a memorization approach. With the framework in mind, an instructor can design assessments that align with their teaching activities to develop problem analysis skills and meet the desired learning outcomes. Over several years, the PAAD framework was developed using a grounded theory approach incorporating learning theories presented in the literature, teaching practice, and insights from faculty and students obtained through workshops and focus groups.

On-going research is exploring the role of memorization and problem-solving in the STEM undergraduate student curriculum, as well as the development of problem analysis skills. In addition, instructors are needed to use the framework to score their course assessments and reflect on how they can improve their assessment to foster deeper conceptual understanding and stronger problem analysis/problem solving skills.