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Bridging Learning Gap Through Peer-to-Peer Information Exchange in a Flat Environment

[+] Author Affiliations
Madhumitha Ramachandran, Zahed Siddique

University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK

Gül E. Okudan Kremer

Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA

Firas Akasheh

Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, AL

Paper No. DETC2015-47379, pp. V003T04A026; 12 pages
  • ASME 2015 International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference
  • Volume 3: 17th International Conference on Advanced Vehicle Technologies; 12th International Conference on Design Education; 8th Frontiers in Biomedical Devices
  • Boston, Massachusetts, USA, August 2–5, 2015
  • Conference Sponsors: Design Engineering Division, Computers and Information in Engineering Division
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5710-6
  • Copyright © 2015 by ASME


In this paper, we present a technology assisted flat learning environment, Teaching to Learn (TeatoL), where all participants have dual roles as students and instructors. The main objective of this work is to investigate how peer-to-peer information exchange aids in bridging knowledge gap in a flat-learning environment. We present our TeatoL implementation that was developed to enhance ill-structured problem solving skill along with its assessment. The participants in the learning environment were given an open design problem related to sheet metal forming. A short lecture about 35 minutes (Phase 0) was given and then student teams were asked to make an instructional video (Phase I) describing their approach for solving the open-ended problem. The videos were viewed by peers, using their computers and mobile devices. The students then critiqued and provided feedback on the posted videos (Phase II). The final step of the process had students write short reports on their problem solving approach (Phase III) that was modified based on peer-to-peer interactions. Student learning in all three phases was assessed to understand the effects of different modes of learning in TeatoL. Our findings indicate that TeatoL is an effective flat online learning environment. Correlation analysis suggests that learning gains are dependent on the level of knowledge on the topic for the learning community (class) and the number of meaningful comments provided by peers. The findings from this work can be utilized to develop technology based online peer learning environments to improve learning outcomes through active collaborative learning. Such an environment can be particularly useful for open course delivery.

Copyright © 2015 by ASME



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