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A New Assessment Model, Modified for Use in Dynamics

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Assessment Strategies in Mechanics

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Paper Authors


Geoffrey Recktenwald Michigan State University

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Geoff Recktenwald is a member of the teaching faculty in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Michigan State University. Geoff holds a PhD in Theoretical and Applied Mechanics from Cornell University and Bachelor degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Physics from Cedarville University. His research interests are focused on best practices for student learning and student success. He is currently developing and researching SMART assessment, a modified mastery learning pedagogy for problem based courses. He created and co-teaches a multi-year integrated system design (ISD) project for mechanical engineering students. He is a mentor to mechanical engineering graduate teaching fellows and actively champions the adoption and use of teaching technologies.

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Tamara Bush Michigan State University

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Dr. Tamara Reid Bush currently holds the position of Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Michigan State University. She holds a BS in Mechanical Engineering and a MS and PhD in Engineering Mechanics. Broadly, Dr. Bush’s area of research is whole-body biomechanics. She conducts in-vivo experimentation, methods development, and modeling to better understand clinically motivated problems connected with human movement and force generation. More specifically, she conducts research in the areas of seating mechanics, hand function, prosthetics and soft tissue injury. Her work has been funded by NSF, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan and several industrial grants. She has also conducted research with several industries including Abbott Labs, Sage Medical, Steelcase, Johnson Controls and the Michigan District Attorney’s Office. Dr. Bush is a Fellow in the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, two-time recipient of the Withrow Teaching Award, and an Executive Board Member of the American Society of Biomechanics. Most recently she received MSU’s Inspirational Woman Award for Professional Achievement.

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Ron Averill Michigan State University

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Ron Averill joined the faculty at Michigan State University in 1992. He currently serves as the Associate Chair of Undergraduate Studies in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. His research focus is on pedagogy, design optimization of large and complex systems, and design for sustainable agriculture.

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This study builds on the development and implementation of a new assessment model (referred to as SMART Assessment) that was originally tested in a Mechanics of Materials course. This new approach has been demonstrated to have very positive effects on learning, including an increase in final exam mean scores of approximately 30 points (out of 100) compared to a more traditional assessment model, as measured by a common final exam. The second course to adopt the SMART assessment model is Introduction to Dynamics. This paper outlines the modifications to the assessment model and the course structure as well as student outcomes in this course. On a common, representative final exam problem, 68.5% of students in the SMART Assessment model met a rigorous level of minimum competency, while only 27.1% of students in the traditional model met minimum competency.

Recktenwald, G., & Bush, T., & Averill, R. (2020, June), A New Assessment Model, Modified for Use in Dynamics Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34024

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