Salt Lake City, Utah
June 23, 2018
June 23, 2018
July 27, 2018
Mechanics of Solids is a fundamental core course in Engineering. In San Francisco State University (SFSU), it is a prerequisite course for six Civil Engineering (CE) and seven Mechanical Engineering (ME) courses. Being a prerequisite for these courses, Mechanics of Solids is a very critical course for both Civil and Mechanical students. However, Engineering doesn’t come easy to everyone. Lack of practical examples, accessible materials, timely guidance and feedback from instructor are identified as three of the reasons for the low success rate of this course according to the past course surveys and evaluations. Besides, it has been observed that students often miss the global picture and connections between various concepts due to the large number of topics involved in the course. Furthermore, students come with different prerequisite knowledge, which is difficult to accommodate with the limited amount of class time.
To combat these challenges, a series of strategies designed upon mobile technologies are developed and implemented at SFSU. These include recorded review videos to help students review prerequisite concepts, a series of interactive mobile learning apps to help students consolidate and practice gained knowledge, and virtual office hours to provide timely and easily accessible guidance and feedback to students. The highly interactive and concept-rich mobile knowledge apps are partially developed and used as complementary materials to engage students and stimulate active learning. Through these mobile apps, students can visualize complex concepts, create unlimited practice examples to consolidate the knowledge, and connect various concepts with an overall picture of the course.
Pre- and post- surveys were conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of the developed strategies to improve the students’ learning outcomes. Survey results demonstrated the improvement in participants’ knowledge competence after using the intervention. In addition to the surveys, the final grades of the students in Spring 2017 are compared to those from Fall 2014 to provide a direct performance comparison with and without using the intervention. The obtained information will be utilized to guide the future development and refinement of the tools, as well as understand what strategies could be used to better fit the need of the new generation learners.
Jiang, Z., & Maxwell, A. W., & Merchant, Z. H. (2018, June), Board 42: Using Mobile Learning to Improve Low Success Rate in Engineering Courses Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--30031
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