International Journal of Engineering Education
This study focuses on characteristics of written feedback that influence students’ performance and confidence in addressing the mathematical complexity embedded in a Model-Eliciting Activity (MEA). MEAs are authentic mathematical modeling problems that facilitate students’ iterative development of solutions in a realistic context. We analyzed 132 first-year engineering students’ confidence levels and mathematical model scores on aMEA(pre and post feedback), along with teaching assistant feedback given to the students. The findings show several examples of affective and cognitive feedback that students reported that they used to revise their models. Students’ performance and confidence in developing mathematical models can be increased when they are in an environment where they iteratively develop models based on effective feedback.