An innovative teaching method to increase engagement in the classroom: A case study in science and engineering

Rania Al-Hammoud, Arshia Khan, Ona Egbue, Stephen Phillips

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


This Evidence-based practice paper describes a learning process developed and used in several STEM courses. Learning is a process unique to each individual and can be accomplished by watching, reading, doing, experiencing, repetition and even teaching. Learning according to [1] is a two-step process where the first step is to receive information and the second is to process. This study is an active learning method that combines these two steps in a repetitive process that encourages engagement and collaboration in the classroom. Memory related research has identified and confirmed the power of repetition on the recall ability. Repetition has a profound impact on the event related brain potential eliciting a longer recall period and has been reported to speed up the learning process [2,3,4]. In addition, paired learning combined with paired testing has been proven to enhance learning more than it would in paired learning combined with individual testing [5]. This paper discusses a pedagogy that combines the above mentioned theories. This pedagogy aims to maximize learning in within a short time frame. Students learn while creating questions and answers to these questions, preparing for the quiz, taking the quiz and finally grading the quiz. The students work with a partner or in a group throughout the process of the quiz. The paper also discusses the modifications done to accommodate for the change in a classroom size. It also gives the feedback gathered from the students while implementing this pedagogy in a small and a large classroom setting and what improvements have been done in addressing students' concerns. 93% of the students - found the process of creating the questions for the quiz to be helpful in reviewing the material learned in the class and the process of taking the quiz to be helpful in learning the material; 93% of the students indicated that they learned from their classmates; and 13% of the students preferred lecture only class. The project is a result of an international collaboration with professors from two different universities across three different disciplines in STEM including Civil Engineering, Computer Science and, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, Slight variations of the method was employed based on the specific nature of the class. The project consists of the students working in groups to create questions and answers related to a topic briefly described in class. The questions and answers are presented in an online forum monitored by the class instructor for all the students to see. The students are then quizzed on questions from the pool asked by them online. The project was implemented in a range of class sizes from 20 students to 120 students.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Jun 24 2017
Event124th ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - Columbus, United States
Duration: Jun 25 2017Jun 28 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The authors would like to acknowledge the Center of Teaching Excellence (CTE) at UW for funding part of this project and Carmen Che (an undergraduate student at the Civil and Environmental Engineering department at UW) for her help in drafting the grant and developing the module in class at UW.

Publisher Copyright:
© American Society for Engineering Education, 2017.


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