Asee peer logo

Achieving coherent and interactive instruction in engineering mechanics

Download Paper |

Conference

2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Teaching with Technology

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

Page Count

8

Page Numbers

23.134.1 - 23.134.8

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/19148

Download Count

13

Request a correction

Paper Authors

biography

Caleb H Farny Boston University

visit author page

Caleb Farny received his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Boston University in 2007, working in the area of thermal deposition from acoustically-driven cavitation in tissue media. Following a 3-year postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard Medical School, he returned to the Dept of Mechanical Engineering at Boston University, where he is a Lecturer.

visit author page

biography

Sean B Andersson Boston University

visit author page

Sean B. Andersson received a B.S. in engineering and applied physics (Cornell University, 1994), an M.S. in mechanical engineering (Stanford University, 1995), and a Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering (University of Maryland, College Park, 2003). He has worked at AlliedSignal Aerospace and Aerovironment, Inc. and is currently an Associate Professor of mechanical engineering and of systems engineering with Boston University. His research interests include systems and control theory with applications in scanning probe microscopy, dynamics in molecular systems, and robotics.

visit author page

Download Paper |

Abstract

Achieving Coherent and Interactive Instruction in Engineering MechanicsOur introductory Statics and Strength of Materials course has recently undergone a revision inthe lecture format and course organization, due to consistent feedback from students and faculty.As a service course to the College of Engineering, the student enrollment is high, resulting infive sections taught by 3-5 faculty members. Section-to-section disparity was a common concernraised by the students throughout the semester, since inconsistencies in pace and depth of thematerial presentation was inevitable and common. Increased exposure to example problems wasanother common request.This talk will describe the new version of the course and compare student outcomes with thosefrom the traditional course format. The traditional lecture format consisted of a standard 110-minute lecture by a faculty instructor. In the new format, a faculty instructor teaches each lecture,with assistance from a graduate teaching fellow (TF) and 1-2 undergraduate learning assistants(LA). The lecture period is organized into a structured Presentation-Learning-Discussion (PLD)Cell that is presented twice per lecture: (1) Presentation: The faculty instructor presents a 15-20 minute lecture on new concepts. (2) Learning: An active learning example is presented, and students form 4-persongroups to solve the problem over a period of 15 minutes. The instructor, GTF, and LAs circulatethroughout the hall to assist in understanding the problem. (3) Discussion: The class re-convenes and the instructor leads a class discussion tohighlight correct and incorrect steps exposed from the group work.The active learning environment is improved by providing real-time feedback on the steps takenby the groups to solve the problem. Each group is supplied with a wireless-enabled tablet,allowing the students to draw out the relevant Free Body Diagrams and equilibrium analysis. Thework is transmitted to the instructor’s computer, allowing the instructor to visualize and discusscommon misconceptions about the material. To help achieve uniformity amongst the multiplecourse sections, a common library of group examples and images is shared amongst the coursefaculty. The students’ work is posted online following lecture, for future review.Two sections of the course were taught by the same instructor in the Spring 2012 semester. Onesection followed the traditional lecture format, while the other section piloted the new format.Both sections received the same course assignments, and covered the same example problemsand course material. A comparison of student performance and course feedback assessment,based on section and lecture format, indicates that the new format improves the students’comprehension of the course material, and motivation and interest in the course.

Farny, C. H., & Andersson, S. B. (2013, June), Achieving coherent and interactive instruction in engineering mechanics Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. https://peer.asee.org/19148

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2013 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015