One goal of the VaNTH Engineering Research Center is to estimate the effects of the “value added” to bioengineering student learning as a result of “How People Learn” (HPL) framework interventions. A necessary step in that process is to assess pedagogical differences in both lecture-based and HPL-oriented courses. Data from 28 bioengineering courses, over five semesters, were analyzed using a newly developed HPL Index. This index, developed from the Classroom Interaction Observation portion of the VaNTH Observation System, reports levels of HPL-inspired pedagogy, traditional pedagogy, and classroom organization within a class using codes for different types of faculty and student interactions assigned by an observer in real time. Results confirm the HPL Index’s ability to distinguish pedagogical practices based on HPL principles and pedagogical practices based on traditional, non-HPL pedagogy.


classroom assessment, engineering pedagogy, observation systems

Date of this Version


Published in:

Journal of Engineering Education, v. 97, no. 4, pgs. 413-431