June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
22.291.1 - 22.291.15
Blending Interactive Courseware into Statics Courses and Assessing the Outcome at Different InstitutionsWe present an “inverted classroom” approach to blending web-based learning materialsinto instructor-led statics courses. By using the web-based materials students receiveinitial exposure to a topic prior to class. Initial exposure outside of class typically leads tolearning of basic ideas by many students, although they remain with questions oruncertainties regarding more complex or subtle ideas. Class time, which offersopportunities for deeper student-instructor interactions, can then be used, for example, toaddress students’ remaining questions and more complex or interesting applications. Toleverage student work on web-based materials prior to class, instructors need to trackstudent on-line learning activities and identify the concepts and skills that students stillneed to master. In fact, the web-based materials are instrumented to record studentanswers, and provide the results in readily accessible aggregated form to instructors.The courseware used in this study has been developed by two of the authors as part of theCarnegie Mellon Open Learning Initiative (OLI) to develop cognitively informededucational resources that enact instruction. This courseware has benefited from priorresearch into conceptual knowledge in Statics and the psychometric analysis of theStatics Concept Inventory. It also incorporates many general lessons from the learningsciences that are broadly relevant, as described in previous papers presented by theauthors at ASEE conferences. The courseware, freely available to individual learners andinstitutions, currently consists of six units, each containing a set of modules. Each moduleis based on a set of carefully articulated learning objectives and contains expository textand various interactive exercises and simulations. Assessment is tightly integrated withineach module, with students confronting formative “Learn by Doing” activities, whichoffer hints and feedback, and summative “Did I Get This” interactive assessments at theend of each section to signal if learning objectives were met.The paper reports on the experiences in blending the courseware into Statics courses attwo distinct institutions, one offering a four year BS engineering degree, and one with atwo-year engineering associate’s degree. We show how the same overall approach isplausibly adaptable at many types of institutions, while allowing for significant variationto suit different needs or preferences. We also report on measures of learning and studentdevelopment, and seek to understand the impact of the materials and their blended use onstudents.
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