[publication] Confidence in and beliefs about first-year engineering student success: case study from KU Leuven, TU Delft, and TU Graz #research #STELA

One of our intellectual outputs of the STELA-project is a case study amongt our partners. We did a study about how students feel in the very first beginning of their study and published it at the SEFI-conference.


This paper explores the confidence freshman engineering students have in being successful in the first study year and which study-related behaviour they believe to be important to this end. Additionally, this paper studies which feedback these students would like to receive and compares it with the experiences of second-year students regarding feedback. To this end, two questionnaires were administered: one with freshman engineering students to measure their expectations regarding study success and expected feedback and one with second-year engineering students to evaluate their first year feedback experience.
The results show that starting first-year engineering students are confident regarding their study success. This confidence is however higher than the observed first-year students success. Not surprisingly, first-year students have good intentions and believe that most academic activities are important for student success. When second-year students look back on their first year, their beliefs in the importance of these activities have strongly decreased, especially regarding the importance of preparing classes and following communication through email and the virtual learning environment. First-year students expect feedback regarding their academic performance and engagement. They expect that this feedback primarily focuses on the impact on their future study pathway rather than on comparison to peer students. Second-year students indicate that the amount of feedback they receive could be improved, but agree with the first-year students that comparative feedback is less important.

[Full Article @ ResearchGate]

Reference: de Laet, T., Broos, T., van Staalduinen, J.-P., Ebner, M., Langie, G., van Soom, C. & Shepers, W (2018) Confidence in and beliefs about first-year engineering student success: case study from KU Leuven, TU Delft, and TU Graz. In: Proceedings of the 45th SEFI Conference, pp. 1-9. Azores, Portugal

[publication] Can Confidence Assessment Enhance Traditional Multiple-Choice Testing?

Zusammen mit meinen Kollegen haben wir für die heurige ICL Konferenz einen Artikel über die Verwendung eines zusätzlichen Parameters bei einem Multiple-Choice Test (Feldstudie) geschrieben. Der Artikel ist hier online verfügbar.

This paper presents the results of an experiment with multiple-choice testing including confidence assessment. In a course at Graz University of Technology (TU Graz) 432 students did a multiple-choice test (MCT) on the university’s online learning management system. For 172 students the test had been added a confidence parameter for each question, which allowed the students to state their confidence in their answers. The remaining 260 students doing a traditional MCT served as a control group. The results show that there is a relationship between the confidence parameter and the percentage of incorrect answers. Moreover the findings detail that the use of the confidence parameter leads to slightly poorer results.

Referenz:Kolbitsch, J., Ebner, M., Nagler, W., Scerbakov, N. (2008) Can Confidence Assessment Enhance Traditional Multiple-Choice Testing?, In: Interactive Computer Aided Learning, ICL 2008, Villach