Circuit design is art and science. It requires one to KNOW some physics, formulas, and rules. But it also requires PRACTICE. A practiced circuit designer who retains some ignorance is more valuable than one who has gathered all the bits of learning, but has not spent time rummaging around the upper level’s of Bloom’s Taxonomy. My course has little value if students leave with only knowledge.
How do you use online tools to hoist a student up the rungs of the learning taxonomy? Online tools mostly deliver content. Multiple choice quizzes trigger a response, which is good, but they route one’s thinking into a small number of bins. How can one use online tools to not only facilitate in consuming knowledge but in creating?
To move from knowledge and understanding to application and creation, one needs more complex and nuanced feedback. Application and creation means being able to make measured decisions that take in a number of factors whose weights vary.
Perhaps a decision-tree form of self-evaluation would do the trick. Consider: Assign a design task that can be done innumerable ways. However, some ways are better than others and it depends on the resources available and the particular goals. After the design is complete, they would then be asked a series of questions that might elevate some considerations.
For example one could start by addressing functionality, can their design satisfy the desired function?
Then one can ask them what is the most valuable consideration: speed, power, size, robustness…
Based on their response they could be asked to consider various techniques that exchange power for speed or size for robustness. In other words, the online tool could not only ask the student to submit a design, but then evaluate their design, to consider options, to weigh benefits, to modify.
This decision-tree of self-evaluation seems like a great way to encourage metacognition and creativity – pushing students to not just get it done, but decide if they could have done it better. Are you envisioning a series of little assignments, a self-evaluation rubric of these questions, or something else entirely?