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  1. Oludare Owolabi
  2. https://www.morgan.edu/school_of_engineering/departments/civil_engineering/our_faculty/staff_/dr_oludare_owolabi.html
  3. Assistant Professor
  4. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  5. Morgan State University
  1. Sotonye Ikiriko
  2. Research Associate
  3. Presenter’s NSFRESOURCECENTERS
  4. Morgan State University

Adapting an Experiment-centric Teaching Approach to Increase Student Achievem...

NSF Awards: 1915614

2021 (see original presentation & discussion)

Undergraduate

With support from the NSF Improving Undergraduate STEM Education Program: Education and Human Resources (IUSE:EHR), this project aims to serve the national interest by implementing an evidence-based, experiment-focused teaching approach in multiple STEM disciplines. The Experiment Centric Pedagogy (ECP) has been successful in promoting motivation and enhancing academic achievement of electrical engineering students. ECP uses an inexpensive, safe, and portable electronic instrumentation system that can be used in classrooms and student laboratories. When paired with appropriate software and sensors, it can be used to measure a wide range of properties, from vibration to oxygen levels. In this Engaged Student Learning project, ECP will be adapted for use in biology, chemistry, civil engineering, computer science, industrial engineering, transportation systems, and physics. Because using electronic instrumentation to make scientific measurements is common in all STEM disciplines, ECP may be an especially valuable STEM teaching approach.

So far in the project, ECP has been adapted and implemented,  in Biology, Civil Engineering, Industrial Engineering, Physics and Transportation System. The impact of ECP on student success  has also been assessed.  The first project objective is to provide workshops at which STEM faculty will learn how to use ECP as an active learning pedagogy. These workshops were conducted in Winter 2020, Summer 2020 and Winter 2021 respectively and they were opened to all STEM faculty, not just project faculty. Non-project faculty were able to adopt ECP in their courses, thereby yielding secondary project benefits. The second objective is to integrate ECP into multiple STEM disciplines and in various settings, such as in traditional classrooms and teaching laboratories, and at home use by students. During the pandemic laboratory kits were shipped to the students.    Instructors may implement ECP for in-class demonstrations, for cooperative group experiments in class or laboratories, and for homework assignments. Project faculty were supported from early ECP adaptation through implementation and assessment. The third objective is to measure student success outcomes resulting from the use of ECP. Student success was measured by academic performance as well as retention and graduation rates. In addition, validated instruments have be used to measure key constructs associated with student success, such as motivation, epistemic and perceptual curiosity, engineering identity, and self-efficacy. Results of formative assessments have been used to guide the project, and the summative project assessment is expected to demonstrate positive impacts on more than 1,000 STEM students, a considerable proportion of whom are from groups historically underrepresented in STEM. 

 

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Discussion from the 2021 STEM For All Video Showcase (18 posts)
  • Icon for: Patricia Marsteller

    Patricia Marsteller

    Facilitator
    Professor of Practice Emeritus
    May 10, 2021 | 01:10 p.m.

    Hi

    This is great and I'd love to hear more about the formative and summative assessments you are using.  Love to hear more about  how they are converting to the instrumentation systems.  Is this published yet or is there more information on line?

     
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    Sotonye Ikiriko
  • Icon for: Oludare Owolabi

    Oludare Owolabi

    Lead Presenter
    Assistant Professor
    May 10, 2021 | 09:39 p.m.

    Thank you for great questions-- all related to current activities of our project. We have been doing both formative and summative assessments--that includes bi-weekly meetings with our GAs, TAs, and project faculty, class observations at online lab classes, regular pre-post surveys, interviews/feedback with peers and GAs. We have used a standard survey- MSLQ questionnaire to examine student motivation, curiosity, learning, and engagement. Our initial data were presented and shared in local and national conferences as well during the two-day summer workshop where more than 350 faculty and students attended from Morgan State and other HBCUs. Our research team has prepared a couple of manuscripts for publication in professional journals and they are now under review.  Additionally, we have a conference paper at the last year's ASEE national conference where we published preliminary results of our research (Ladeji-Osias, J, Owolabi, O. A., Bista, K. Gaulee, U. Wemida, A. B. Efe, S. Oni, A. Ariyibi, A.Ndirangu, C. G., Olanrewaju, E. O. , Lee, S., Alamu, O. S. Shokouhian, M., Ikiriko, S. Kinyua, A.(2020). “Initial impact of an experiment-centric teaching approach in several STEM disciplines”, 2020ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, virtual. June 2020.-https://peer.asee.org/initial-impact-of-an-experiment-centric-teaching-approach-in-several-stem-disciplines). Another paper was presented at a regional ASEE conference(Bello, M. O., Nwachukwu, N.J., Ntonifor, I.M., Koissi, N., Owolabi, O.A., and Ladeji-Osias, J. (2020). “Chemistry and Transportation Engineering Experiment-Centric Pedagogy with Hands-on-Labs”.ASEE Middle Atlantic Section Fall 2020 Conference, Nov. 2020, Stevens Institute of Technology,Hoboken NJ, USA-https://peer.asee.org/chemistry-and-transportat...).

     

    As per how they are converting to the instrumentation systems, in each discipline sensors are connected to the portable electronic instrumentation system (Analog Devices Active Learning Module-ADALM 2000 or ADALM 1000 in our case) and then through a developed graphical user interface electrical signals are displayed as physical quantities that are normally measured in each discipline. When this portable electronic instrumentation system is paired with appropriate software and sensors, it is used to measure a wide range of properties, from vibration to oxygen levels. In our Engaged Student Learning project, ECP is being adapted for use in biology, chemistry, civil engineering, computer science, industrial engineering, transportation systems, and physics. Because using electronic instrumentation to make scientific measurements is common in all STEM disciplines, ECP is an especially valuable STEM teaching approach.

    Again, thank you for your questions.

     
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    Sotonye Ikiriko
  • Icon for: Oludare Owolabi

    Oludare Owolabi

    Lead Presenter
    Assistant Professor
    May 10, 2021 | 09:42 p.m.

    Hi all.


    Our video explains the impact of Experiment Centric Pedagogy (ECP) in STEM learning. Incorporating ECP into the STEM curriculum at Morgan State University has shown to improve motivation, enthusiasm and learning amongst students.


    We hope that you enjoy this 3-minute video, we will be more than happy to answer your questions regarding ECP, and the STEM curriculum at Morgan State University. Feel free to ask all your questions.


    Please enjoy.  

     
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    Sotonye Ikiriko
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    Antony Kinyua

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 11, 2021 | 10:30 a.m.

    Keep up the good work! Peace and stay safe.

     
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    Sotonye Ikiriko
  • Small default profile

    Bista

    Researcher
    May 11, 2021 | 04:09 p.m.

    Wow, great job!!

     
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    Sotonye Ikiriko
  • Icon for: Oludare Owolabi

    Oludare Owolabi

    Lead Presenter
    Assistant Professor
    May 11, 2021 | 06:07 p.m.

    Thank you so much for your compliment.

     
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    Sotonye Ikiriko
  • Small default profile

    Babatunde

    Researcher
    May 11, 2021 | 04:29 p.m.

    I am curious on the potential benefits the instrumentation setups will present as students begin to return to in person and hybrid classrooms.

    Great job too!

     
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    Sotonye Ikiriko
  • Icon for: Oludare Owolabi

    Oludare Owolabi

    Lead Presenter
    Assistant Professor
    May 12, 2021 | 04:48 p.m.

    Thank you for your question, the advantage of ECP is that it can be integrated into multiple STEM disciplines and in various settings, such as in traditional classrooms and teaching laboratories, and at home use by students. Consequently,  during the pandemic, we tapped into the at home use of ECP to effectively engage STEM students in hands on learning at the following STE disciplines (Biology, Chemistry, Civil Engineering, Industrial Engineering, Physics and Transportation Systems. Following are the experiments that have been developed conducted in each of the following disciplines:

    Biology:

    1. Photoplethysmography (Heart rate measurement)

     Chemistry:

    1. PH Measurement
    2. Specific Heat
    3. Calorimetry

    Civil Engineering

    1. Bending Stresses and Strain
    2. Beam Deflection/Modulus of Elasticity of Specimens
    3. PH Measurement

    Industrial Engineering

    1. Specific Heat of Solids
    2. Hooks Law

     Physics

    1. Ohms Law,
    2. RC Time Constant,
    3. Impedance profile of load speakers, and
    4. Introduction to the Oscilloscope
    5. Hooks Law
    6. Specific Heat of Solid

    Transportation Systems

    1. Measurement of Transportation Sound

    As students return to in person and hybrid classrooms, they will continue to enjoy the benefits of ECP as the implementation  increases their motivation, self efficacy and success in their respective STEM disciplines. 

     
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    Sotonye Ikiriko
  • Icon for: Anya Goodman

    Anya Goodman

    Higher Ed Faculty
    May 11, 2021 | 08:34 p.m.

    Terrific video, thank you for sharing! I imagine that students doing experiments at home may be getting a very different experience: a more structured in-class lab typically has some pre-determined outcome that needs to be achieved in a set amount of time.  The at-home lab should allow more exploration!  Did you train faculty on designing/re-designing assignments to go with the "at-home" instrumentation or were they mostly adapting previous labs? 

     
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    Sotonye Ikiriko
  • Icon for: Oludare Owolabi

    Oludare Owolabi

    Lead Presenter
    Assistant Professor
    May 11, 2021 | 09:38 p.m.

    Thank you for your questions. When the pandemic occurred in Spring 2020 we quickly switched to virtual learning and shipped laboratory kits to students. 

     During the initial pilot study carried out in Spring 2020, it was discovered that a few students had challenges in effectively following the laboratory instructions which are precursor to successfully achieving the experimentation objectives. Subsequently in-order to enhance best practices in diffusing the home-based pedagogy, a synchronously online laboratory experimentation that effectively engages the students during the conduction of the home-based hands-on laboratory exercise as proposed by Mawn (2016)[Mawn, M. V. (2016). Science Online, Bringing the Laboratory Home in Teaching Science Online: Practical Guidance for Effective Instruction and Lab Work by Kennepohl, Dietmar Karl. Vol. First edition, Stylus Publishing, 2016]was adopted for Summer 2020 implementation. 

    Subsequently, in Summer 2020 we trained project team members on how to design and redesign the curriculum to be in alignment with the virtual platform.  Faculty utilized the zoom virtual platform to effectively engage students during the experiment. The advantage of ECP is that students have the liberty to conduct the experiment at their own pace at home. 

    The results of a Motivated Strategies for Learning Questionnaires (MLSQ) survey that was administered to about 100 STEM students revealed better gains in key constructs associated with student success, such as motivation, critical thinking, and metacognition.

       

     

     

    However, students were having difficulty performing the experiments by themselves, hence based on the input  and feedback we got from implementation in Spring 2020, we decided to change the pedagogical approach     

     
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    Sotonye Ikiriko
  • Icon for: Jay Labov

    Jay Labov

    Facilitator
    Senior Advisor for Education and Communication (Retired)
    May 12, 2021 | 02:47 p.m.

    Thank you for contributing this video! The discussion already includes some very good questions. I would appreciate your saying more about how much these devices cost per student. If they are inexpensive and easily scalable, then I could envision them paving the way for faculty who have not yet developed Course-based Undergraduate Research Experiences to think about doing so. When I worked at the National Academies, we produced a report from a workshop I organized titled "STEM Learning is Everywhere!" While this report was focused on pre-college, the concept applies equally well to undergraduate education, and especially for students who would have limited time to participate in in-class research experiences due to competing demands such as work schedules or family commitments. Developing research-based experiences that don't depend on being in a lab or formal field setting also could help students better appreciated the relevance and connections between STEM subjects and their local environments. Has Morgan State attempted to scale up the use of these devices for such purposes, or is such scaling under consideration for the future?

     
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    Sotonye Ikiriko
  • Icon for: Oludare Owolabi

    Oludare Owolabi

    Lead Presenter
    Assistant Professor
    May 12, 2021 | 08:56 p.m.

    Thank you for your question. The entire set up and other accessories are very cheap just like the cost of a textbook. The  ADALM 1000  is just about $30.00 and other sensors are also cheap that can be connected to the ADALM 1000. As I mentioned above, we have developed experiments in six STEM disciplines.  During this Summer we plan to further at minimum develop three additional experiments in each discipline. Yes it can easily be scaled up and adopted as research-based experiences as we all know that in STEM research we tend to investigate the relationship of variables that can be measured by various sensors. Although right now we are investigating the impact of ECP on student success in seven STEM disciplines, but your suggestion is highly welcome.   

     
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    Sotonye Ikiriko
  • Icon for: Patricia Marsteller

    Patricia Marsteller

    Facilitator
    Professor of Practice Emeritus
    May 12, 2021 | 04:28 p.m.

    Thanks for the response to my inquiry about papers.  may I share with like minded people.  Example I think the faculty who I am preparing a workshop for at Fisk would love to see what you are doing.  They are all interested in interdisciplinary projects and in finding ways to do experiments virtually.

     
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    Sotonye Ikiriko
  • Icon for: Oludare Owolabi

    Oludare Owolabi

    Lead Presenter
    Assistant Professor
    May 12, 2021 | 04:51 p.m.

    Yes that is great, you can share with them and if they need our help during the workshop you can let us know.

    Thanks

     
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    Sotonye Ikiriko
  • Icon for: Judith Dilts

    Judith Dilts

    Facilitator
    Retired Associate Dean, College of Science and Mathematics
    May 12, 2021 | 08:04 p.m.

    What a great device! It is interesting to see how it can be used in a variety of disciplines. I, too, wondered the cost and also whether the student must return it or can keep it and use it in other courses. Do you imagine continuing the out of class experiments once in-person teaching begins? Was there any problem with students not have an appropriate computer or laptop and if so, how did you solve that?

     

    Thanks!  Judy

     
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    Sotonye Ikiriko
  • Icon for: Oludare Owolabi

    Oludare Owolabi

    Lead Presenter
    Assistant Professor
    May 12, 2021 | 09:07 p.m.

    Thank you for the question. The device it self,  like ADALM 1000 is about $30.00, while other accessories are the sensors and other experimental kits. The entire system and accessories are usually about the cost of a text book. The cost of each set up/kit varies from discipline to discipline depending on the nature of the experiment, however the cost varies from about $40 to $130 per set up/kit of the experiments itemized above.   During the pandemic Morgan State University provided laptops for students that did not own one, hence they were very useful. Students are required to return the kits at the end of the semester so that students coming behind them can use. The beauty of ECP is that it can be utilized at various settings, such as in traditional classrooms and teaching laboratories, and at home use by students. Yes out class experiments are part of ECP, hence we shall continue once in-person teaching begins. 

    Also some of the students had issues with software compatibility because of the type of operating system. 

    Additionally,  in some classes and labs, troubleshooting brought everyone together. The students among themselves, the instructors as well as the support team. Having the team prepare and regularly share lessons learned made a big difference in providing timely, effective solutions.   As for the students, it turned into a very engaging experience that provided space for creative problem-solving conversations.   So yes as mentioned above,  there is room for bringing the lessons learned into face-to-face settings where it can deepen and enrich the discovery and learning experiences.
     
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    Sotonye Ikiriko
  • Icon for: Mary Stapleton

    Mary Stapleton

    Informal Educator
    May 13, 2021 | 02:23 p.m.

    I enjoyed hearing about your project.  The challenges you faced finding ways to actively engage students in STEM courses during the pandemic were tough.  I like the way your team and your university worked to develop a cost-effective solution. I wonder how what your you and team learned and developed during for distance-learning might affect in-person teaching once things go back to pre-pandemic modes of teaching (i.e. primarily in person)?

     
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    Sotonye Ikiriko
  • Icon for: Sotonye Ikiriko

    Sotonye Ikiriko

    Co-Presenter
    Research Associate
    May 15, 2021 | 02:17 p.m.

    Thank you Dr. Stapleton for this wonderful question. From our implementation of remote labs, we see an opportunity presents itself to improve student learning and engagement outside the classroom walls through the efforts of this study. For example the pre-pandemic mode of learning with lab activities restricted students to learning in classrooms and they were constrained to learning within the 1-3 hours meant for that lab after which they had to leave for the next class to come in.

    The Experimental centric pedagogy removes this physical and time constraint and learning as students can continue to work on their laboratory exercises in the library, their homes, or even at a Starbucks as long as they have the lab kits and a laptop with them. It also allows students to follow up with professors with whatever questions may arise during their personal implementations, and the response to each student can be addressed during the classroom as shared knowledge and encourages discussion.

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