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ACE: Innovative Educational Model to Teach Physics and Mathematics for Engineering Students

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

INT. Engineering Education: Developments, Innovations, Partnerships, and Implementations

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

23.133.1 - 23.133.12



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Paper Authors


Genaro Zavala Tecnologico de Monterrey Orcid 16x16

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Professor and Chair of the Physics Department at the Tecnologico de Monterrey. He is a member of the National Research System in Mexico, member of the Mexican Council of Educational Research; member of the American Association of Physics Teachers and has been member of the International Committee (2006-2008), president of the committee in 2008, member of the Philanthropy Committee (2011-2013) and member of the Membership and Benefits Committee (2012-2015); founding president of the American Association of Physics Teachers, Mexican section; member of the Consejo Nacional de Ciencia y Tecnología (CONACYT) Network on Information Technology, and coordinator of the Science Education Community of the Corporación Universitaria para el Desarrollo del Internet (CUDI). Professor Zavala teaches and advises master thesis and PhD dissertations in the Graduate School of Education of the Virtual University of the Tecnologico de Monterrey. Professor Zavala’s research areas are a) students understanding of science concepts, b) use of technology in science education, and c) evaluation.

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Angeles Dominguez Tecnologico de Monterrey (ITESM) Orcid 16x16

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Angeles Dominguez is an Associate Professor of the Department of Mathematics within the School of Engineering at the Tecnologico de Monterrey (ITESM), Monterrey, Mexico. She obtained her bachelor degree in Physics Engineering from ITESM and achieved her doctoral degree in Mathematics Education from Syracuse University, New York. She is a member of the National Research System in Mexico (SNI). She is currently the president of the Red de Investigación e Innovación en Educación del Noreste de México (REDIIEN). Professor Dominguez has been a visiting researcher at Syracuse University and at the University of Texas at Austin. She teaches undergraduate courses in Mathematics and graduate courses in Education. Professor Dominguez is a thesis advisor on the master and doctoral programs on education of the Virtual University of Tecnologico de Monterrey. Her main research areas are: a) models and modeling, b) use of technology to improve learning and c) evaluation. In addition, Professor Dominguez is consultant for Texas Instruments (TI), she leads the group conTIgo T3 Latin America, and organizes and moderates webinars on the use of TI technology.

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Ruth Rodríguez Gallegos Tecnológico de Monterrey

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Assistant Professor in the Mathematics Department at the Tecnológico de Monterrey, Monterrey Campus since 2007. Math Education Researcher and Member of the National Researcher System (Sistema Nacional de Investigadores, SNI; Mexico) and Member of the Mexican Committee of Educational Researchers (Comité Mexicano de Investigadores Educativos, COMIE). Secretary of the Executive Committee (2009-2013) and Member of the Network of Centers for Research in Mathematics Education. Coordinator of the Faculty Academy of Differential Equations in the Mathematics Department since 2009. Thesis advisor and Professor at ITESM Virtual University School of Education in the graduate programs of Education and Educational Technology and in the PhD program in Educational Innovation.

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ACE: Innovative Educational Model to Teach Physics and Mathematics for Engineering Students Session topic: Innovation and Best Practices Around the GlobeThis paper presents details of an implementation of an innovation in an international context. InMexico we designed a classroom that we call the ACE classroom. ACE comes from Spanish“Aprendizaje Centrado en el Estudiante” (Student-Centered Learning); also the sound of theacronym in Spanish is identical to the verb do, that is, students learn by doing in this classroom.We designed ACE similar to SCALE-UP (Student-Centered Active Learning Environment forUndergraduate Programs) but with some innovations.The structure of the room, the design of materials used and the strategies implemented in ACEaim to improve student learning in physics and math classes for engineering students throughactive learning. Physically, ACE is equipped with circular tables, whiteboards, projectors,document camera, video cameras, portable tablet-computers, calculators, among othertechnologies. The setup of ACE aims to facilitate the teacher access to any part the room, to useof laboratory equipment on the tables and to promote collaborative work and encourage student-centered learning. ACE has been used to teach different subjects. In this paper we will focus onthe teaching of physics, calculus and differential equations for engineering students. In thesesubjects the setup of ACE encourages us to implement teaching and learning strategies that inother classrooms we would not be able to do. Some of the strategies that are used in physics areTutorials for Introductory Physics and Peer Instruction. In mathematics it is generally usedmodeling physical phenomena that cause visualization of mathematics as a tool in the analysis,modeling, and interpretation of non-routine problems in real contexts.We have conducted research on learning concepts and technology, communication and problemsolving skills. The learning of concepts is assessed by a pre and post testing students with astandardized test. Technology skills are evaluated from the analysis of student behavior duringthe activities. Communication skills are assessed by analyzing videos of students’ interactionsduring the classes. Finally problem solving skills are evaluated with established and validatedrubrics. The results are that students in ACE have higher learning gains compared to similarstudents in other environments, and acquired some technology, communication and problemsolving skills.

Zavala, G., & Dominguez, A., & Rodríguez Gallegos, R. (2013, June), ACE: Innovative Educational Model to Teach Physics and Mathematics for Engineering Students Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--19147

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