Providing a New Space for Student Learning: A Pilot Implementation of Self-Generated Student Stories and Informal Peer Assessments in Mechanical Engineering Technology Education Proceedings (Faculty180)

cited authors

  • Cioc, Carmen; Haughton, Noela A; Cioc, Sorin


  • <p>The COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing fallout have increased the need for learning spaces that can support learning through alternate pedagogies and assessment strategies. The use of self-generated stories and informal peer assessments can help to create these supportive learning spaces. Course-oriented, self-generated stories as a pedagogy provide a unique opportunity for students to creatively make connections to academic content (Jonassen & Hernandez-Serrano, 2002). When aligned with instructional goals, student-created stories capture their attention and emotional interests while providing instructors a concrete and memorable insight into their students’ learning (Bolkan et al., 2020). Stories also facilitate student learning through engagement, higher order thinking, and elaboration (Dornisch et al, 2011; Paulus et al., 2006). The integration of informal peer assessments provides additional opportunities for students to engage with the academic content vicariously and engage in further learning through their peers’ stories. The informal assessment process lowers the stakes, focuses on students’ learning as reflected in each story’s narrative, and encourages participation and creativity. Moreover, the processes of generating and sharing stories and the peer assessment process connect to important 21st century soft namely communication and collaboration (Kivunja, 2014). Hence, the integration of stories within the instructional framework can be an important tool for teachers in any context, including higher education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields).</p> <p>The literature related stories as a pedagogical strategy contains may examples in both K-12 and higher education. However, the literature related to undergraduate engineering education is limited. Even more limited are documented accounts in which students develop their own unique story. and mechanical engineering technology (MET).</p> <p>This paper describes the pilot implementation, effectiveness, and pedagogical value of student-generated stories a mechanical engineering technology classroom. This application, which addressed ABET Criterion 3 and Criterion 5c, was implemented in a four credit hour senior-level applied fluid mechanics course, which has lecture and laboratory components. It is the second in the fluid mechanics’ s sequence and covers topics like pipeline systems, pump selection, flow if air in ducts, and lift and drag. The original instructional design used a blend of traditional in-class lectures and problem-based learning focused on project-based and other laboratory exercises.</p> <p>To further improve the students’ communication skills – especially in written communication – as well as showing real-world applicability of the course topics, a story-based element was piloted in fall 2020 and again in fall 2021. Students were asked to “Tell a Story”, in which they developed unique and individual stories in which they applied fluid mechanics content. Stories were informally peer-assessed on the realistic nature of the scenario, the use of engineering content to solve the story’s problem, and creativity. A summary of the winning stories and student feedback will be presented. Possible further use as a pedagogy will also be discussed.</p>

publication date

  • 2023

presented at event