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Incorporating Jigsaw Cooperative Learning in a Signals and Systems Course
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This paper investigates incorporating jigsaw cooperative learning and its impact on students' performance in a junior-level engineering course on Signals and Systems. This course is rich in mathematical formulation and analysis of complex processes. To make the material more approachable to students, instructors usually incorporate several problem-solving or tutorial sessions within the course. Much like traditional lectures, the delivery of the material during these sessions is primarily instructor-centered, particularly, due to the complexity of the material. In this paper, we demonstrate that student learning of the course material improves when the traditional instructor-centered lectures are supplemented with jigsaw-based problem-solving sessions. Analysis of assessment data obtained from student scores in exam questions over two years shows improvements in student performance when the material delivery is supplemented with jigsaw-based problem-solving sessions in comparison to the instructor-centered problemsolving sessions. Advantages of the jigsaw technique over more conventional cooperative learning techniques are discussed. Furthermore, application of jigsaw can highlight areas of improvements in the instructor's delivery of the course material.