June 15, 2019
June 15, 2019
October 19, 2019
NSF Grantees Poster Session
The Fidget Car—a low-cost platform for observation, measurement, and application of core systems and controls principles—was developed to address time and resource requirements for small group learning exercises in undergraduate systems and controls courses with the support of the NSF DUE IUSE: Engaged Student Learning – Exploration and Design program. Workshop participants co-developed eight exercises to create and enhance small-group learning opportunities in said courses in the summer of 2017.
To date, 98 fidget car platforms have been distributed to 19 faculty and staff members reaching students at 12 universities. Results from the dissemination and implementation of the funded activities are explored through the lens of impacts on student attitudes towards learning, and connections students made among the activities and key systems and controls concepts. Preliminary results from student surveys and instructor assessments show a high-level of student engagement with the activities and frequent reports of “a-ha moments” or connections resulting from the experiences. Implementation reports show 70 – 85% of students referencing improved connections to key learning concepts in post activity reflections with lower numbers questioning non-ideal system behaviors in the same reflections.
Faculty reports have shown adoption of fidget car exercises for a wide variety of purposes: to motivate the need for control action, to help students “see” complex mathematical concepts, to help students connect mathematical models to physical behavior, to create a shared experience for in-class discussion, and to apply disciplinary methods to real systems based on real-world data. In addition to the different purposes augmented by the activities, adopters report using the activities in a variety of constructs: short in-class demos, outside of class design or analysis projects, one- to multi-class measurement laboratory exercises, or partial class activities inspiring group discussion. A mapping of the exercises to fundamental systems and controls learning concepts and to classroom learning modalities is provided.
Feinauer, D. M., & Ray, L. R. (2019, June), Board 52: The Fidget Car—Outcomes from Small Group Learning Activities in Systems and Controls Courses Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32370
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