June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
12.176.1 - 12.176.9
Adapting and Implementing the SCALE-UP Approach in Statics, Dynamics, and Multivariable Calculus
This study seeks to deliver and document more effective Statics and Dynamics instruction by implementing the Student-Centered Activities for Large Enrollment University Programs (SCALE-UP) model, in which large studio classes are taught with an emphasis on learning by guided inquiry instead of on listening. The project is also examining the benefit of integrating the content of the two traditional sequential courses and the parallel content in multivariable calculus. By tracking multiple sections taught using different approaches in different departments, the project’s experimental design plans to control for each of the changes being made simultaneously to understand the benefit of each.
As of Fall 2006, an active-learning approach modeled after Beichner and colleagues’ SCALE- UP method1 has been implemented at our institution to teach sophomore Mechanical Engineering students an integrated statics and dynamics course, and one section of a statics course for Civil Engineering sophomores, as well as other engineering disciplines (except Mechanical). A simultaneous multivariable calculus was taught using the SCALE-UP method as well. Although the SCALE-UP approach has been studied in physics courses1, little has been done to validate it in engineering courses. Since this approach has shown improvement in physics courses, it is expected that engineering courses will also benefit. This research will assess the success of the SCALE-UP model in statics, dynamics and calculus courses, and will study how combining statics and dynamics as an integrated course impacts student learning and comprehension.
The Learning Environment
Two new classrooms, equipped for instruction and learning in the SCALE-UP mode, were created for the statics, dynamics and multivariable calculus courses. The space for the engineering courses (1700 square feet) includes eight 7-foot diameter tables that can seat up to 9 students each. The space for the calculus course (1014 square feet) has four 7-foot diameter tables and a seating capacity of 36. The tables have power and wired-internet to facilitate laptop use. In both classrooms, the instructor space includes a “Sympodium” interactive digital pen display, linked to dual projectors. White boards are available for instructor and student use. A schematic and photo of the larger classroom are shown in Figure 1.
An integrated statics and dynamics course, a required course for all Mechanical Engineering majors, was offered for the first time in Fall 2006. This replaced the traditional pair of 3-credit courses, Statics and Dynamics in the ME curriculum, although the traditional courses are still offered for other majors. The course is a 5 credit-hour course and met 5 days a week. Three
Benson, L., & Biggers, S., & Moss, W., & Ohland, M., & Orr, M., & Schiff, S. (2007, June), Adapting And Implementing The Scale Up Approach In Statics, Dynamics, And Multivariate Calculus Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--2354
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