Faculty-led Inquiry into Reflective and Scholarly Teaching (FIRST)


Date of this Version


Document Type



Moore, Keegan. "Course Portfolio for MECH 416/816: Engineering Acoustics, Spring 2019 and 2020" (2020). UNL Faculty Portfolios, 161. digitalcommons.unl.edu/prtunl/161.


The aim of this portfolio is twofold: first, the portfolio serves to document the author’s approach to teaching while also providing the means for the author to reflect on and improve his approach; second, this portfolio evaluates the effect of a discussion-based approach and a solution-based approach to delivering practice exams on student performance on formal examinations. The discussion-based approach focuses on team-based discussions of one problem from a practice exam for 10-15 minutes before receiving feedback from the instructor on that specific problem or topic. After receiving feedback from the instructor, the students move onto another problem in the practice exam and the process is repeated. In the solution-based approach, the instructor solves each problem on the practice exam on the board while the students record the solution on their own copy of the practice exam. The solution-based approach was used exclusively for the 2019 semester whereas the both approaches were used in 2020 semester. The approaches are evaluated based on comparison of examinations grades from both semesters, instructor feelings and thoughts, and through an end-of-the-semester survey completed by the students in the 2020 semester. The students report that they felt equally prepared when either approach was used to deliver a practice exam, but the comparison of the grades suggests that they perform better when the solution-based approach is implemented. Furthermore, the instructor felt the discussion-based approach resulted in a highly disorganized presentation of the practice material and, more importantly, the instructor left the classroom feeling unsuccessful when this approach was implemented.