The impact of two-way formative feedback and web-enabled resources on student resource use and performance in materials courses

Stephen Krause, Dale R. Baker, Adam Carberry, Terry Alford, Casey Jane Ankeny, Bill Jay Brooks, Milo Koretsky, Brady J. Gibbons

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

3 Scopus citations


Two-way formative feedback has been used extensively in the JTF (Just-in-Time-Teaching with Frequent Formative Feedback) project to help instructors understand student thinking and respond with directed feedback and creation of web-enabled student learning resources. When students respond to an open-ended question about issues on content and concepts in a class (e.g. Muddiest Points) their anonymous responses extend beyond the boundaries of the framework an instructor uses to organize, communicate, assess and evaluate their knowledge and understanding. So, if there are hidden issues that impede student learning, such as misconceptions, skill gaps (like charting), difficult concepts, vocabulary ambiguities, etc., the instructor may never become aware of them. In formative feedback students' needs and issues are the defining framework of learning issues, impediments, and barriers that an instructor can address for more effective teaching. Thus, students are empowered to play a role in their learning when they provide input about their instruction. Instructors in the JTF project have created a variety of web-enabled tools and resources to address issues revealed by student feedback acquired by using Concept Warehouse or Blackboard survey tools. One tool is "pencasts" in which a smart pen captures a person's writing and/or drawing on a notepad along with audio input to make a "pencast" recording as an audio PDF. These tutorial problem pencasts have been made into videos for the YouTube on the channel MSEASUproblems. Another popular student resource is Muddiest Point YouTube videos at Another resource is at, a web-enabled illustrated vocabulary resource at A final resource is, a public web site to which slide sets can be uploaded, with an example at The use of these and other resources, such as textbooks, class notes, course slide sets, etc. has been characterized by a new survey tool called the Student Resource Value Survey (SRVS). The survey was administered four times during a semester before each of four exams. Thus, the research question for this work was, "What is the effect of two-way formative feedback and associated web-enabled resources on student resource use and impact on student performance?" The results of a collaborative of five materials courses at four universities were the following. There was a very positive impact of JTF teaching strategies on student attitude, learning, and persistence at all institutions. Student attitude results from a Student Impact Value Survey (SIVS) showed positive results of average 64% for Interest / Attainment Value and high values of 85% average of Utility Value, and also 84% agreeing that the cost of effort was low. Thus, the students have been well motivated through classroom practice using JTF pedagogy. The SRVS survey showed resources students used for exam study and problem solving changed across the semester. A few notable trends were, for exam study resource use, teaching assistant went from 25% to 80%, classmates went from 56% to 67%, YouTube Muddiest Point videos went from 47% to 67%, textbook readings went from 28% to 10%, and Google use fluctuated between 42% and 61%. Thus, these results generally show increasing preference to use a peer mentor and classmates as well as electronic resources and decreasing preference to use traditional resources like textbooks. Impact on persistence across collaborating universities was 97% for 227 students in four classes in Fall 2013 and 95% for 311 students in five classes in Spring 2014. Overall, the use of two-way formative feedback and JTF pedagogy helped guide development of webenabled student resources as well as shifting students' resource use away from traditional resources like textbooks and more toward peer mentors, classmates and web-enabled resources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publication122nd ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition: Making Value for Society
PublisherAmerican Society for Engineering Education
StatePublished - 2015
Event2015 122nd ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - Seattle, United States
Duration: Jun 14 2015Jun 17 2015


Other2015 122nd ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition
Country/TerritoryUnited States

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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