Assessing Project Courses at SFU

Grant programDewey Fellowship Program

Grant recipient: Robert Krider, Beedie School of Business

Project team: Lee Gilad, research assistant

Timeframe: May 2016 to February 2017

Funding: $2,500

Final report: View Robert Krider's final report (PDF) and Appendix B (xls)

Description: This project will inventory project-based courses that are industry-sponsored and/or involve data analysis across SFU and look at how instructors develop and manage these courses to provide effective student learning.

The first part of the project will inventory and characterize project-based courses at SFU. The second part will catalogue strategies and tactics used in these courses, such as the trade-off between imposed structure and student control; the extent to which new material is included in the course, as opposed to more “organic” learning; and student assessment/evaluation methods, (e.g. what are the implications of pass/fail Assessment?). Based on these results, I will attempt to assess the effectiveness of the various tactics and strategies, conditioned on the idiosyncrasies of the course, at least so far as to propose assessment instruments.

Questions addressed:

  • What are the relevant project-based courses at SFU? What are their distinguishing characteristics?
  • What are instructors’ learning goals?  What are their beliefs about the relationship between course characteristics and goals? How do they assess learning? What are the challenges?
  • Can we generate classifications/clusters to summarize courses on characteristics, relationships, challenges?
  • What are the (perceived) learning outcomes of students?
  • Can outcomes be related to characteristics?

Knowledge sharing: Participating instructors will receive a copy of the report, and encouraged to share it. The report also will be posted on the Beedie School of Business teaching and learning website. The results may be presented at the annual Beedie School of Business teaching and learning luncheon in February 2017. Ideally a conference presentations and/or a journal article should result.

Krider, R. (2016, July). Managing undergraduate data analytics project courses. Poster session presented at the Celebration of 10 Years of Teaching and Learning Research at Simon Fraser University, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, BC.