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Alternatives to Textbook Homework Assignments

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Mechanical Engineering Division Technical Session 8

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

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Paper Authors


Amir Karimi P.E. University of Texas, San Antonio

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Amir Karimi, University of Texas, San Antonio
Amir Karimi is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at The University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA). He received his Ph.D. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Kentucky in 1982. His teaching and research interests are in thermal sciences. He has served as the Chair of Mechanical Engineering (1987 to 1992 and September 1998 to January of 2003), College of Engineering Associate Dean of Academic Affairs (Jan. 2003-April 2006), and the Associate Dean of Undergraduate Studies (April 2006-September 2013). Dr. Karimi is a Fellow of ASEE, a Fellow of ASME, senior member of AIAA, and holds membership in ASHRAE, and Sigma Xi. He has served as the ASEE Campus Representative at UTSA, ASEE-GSW Section Campus Representative, and served as the Chair of ASEE Zone III (2005-07). He chaired the ASEE-GSW section during the 1996-97 academic year.

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Randall D. Manteufel P.E. University of Texas, San Antonio

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Randall Manteufel is Associate Professor in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Texas at San Antonio. He teaches thermal-fluid courses.

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Ever since the solution manuals have become available in digital format, they have become widely available, despite instructors’ attempts to keep them away from students. Now it is common for students to consult the solution manual or internet resources when completing their homework assignments. As a result, there has been a steady decline in students’ ability to set up and solve problems, especially when there is no access to the solution. To improve students’ ability to solve engineering problems independently, the authors have attempted several schemes when teaching thermal science courses. These efforts included developing and assigning their own homework problems, increasing the frequency of quizzes and exams, using classroom electronic response devices, assigning group and individual projects, using the flipped classroom concept, and offering mandatory recitation periods. This paper briefly describes the teaching and learning schemes attempted, the advantages and disadvantages of each scheme, and the effectiveness of each scheme. The most promising scheme has been unique homework problems, and this is supported by comparing exam grades when homework problems were assigned from the textbook.

Karimi, A., & Manteufel, R. D. (2018, June), Alternatives to Textbook Homework Assignments Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--29768

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