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Changing Homework Achievement with Mechanix Pedagogy: A Recap

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Conference

2022 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Minneapolis, MN

Publication Date

August 23, 2022

Start Date

June 26, 2022

End Date

June 29, 2022

Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count

8

DOI

10.18260/1-2--42074

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/42074

Download Count

314

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Paper Authors

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Tracy Hammond Texas A&M University

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Matthew Runyon Texas A&M University

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Julie Linsey Georgia Institute of Technology

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Kimberly Talley Texas State University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-6235-0706

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Dr. Kimberly G. Talley is an associate professor in the Department of Engineering Technology, Bobcat Made Makerspace Director at Texas State University, and a licensed Professional Engineer. She received her Ph.D. and M.S.E. from the University of Texas at Austin in Structural Engineering. Her undergraduate degrees in History and in Construction Engineering and Management are from North Carolina State University. Dr. Talley teaches courses in the Construction Science and Management and Civil Engineering Technology Programs, and her research focus is in student engagement and retention in engineering and engineering technology education. Contact: talley@txstate.edu

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Kristi Shryock Texas A&M University

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Dr. Kristi J. Shryock is the Frank and Jean Raymond Foundation Inc. Endowed Associate Professor in the Department of Multidisciplinary Engineering and Affiliated Faculty in the Department of Aerospace Engineering in the College of Engineering at Texas A&M University. She also serves as Director of the Craig and Galen Brown Engineering Honors Program. She received her BS, MS, and PhD from the College of Engineering at Texas A&M. Kristi works to improve the undergraduate engineering experience through evaluating preparation in areas, such as mathematics and physics, evaluating engineering identity and its impact on retention, incorporating non-traditional teaching methods into the classroom, and engaging her students with interactive methods.

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Vimal Viswanathan San Jose State University

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Benjamin Caldwell LeTourneau University

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Abstract

It is challenging to effectively educate in large classes with students from a multitude of backgrounds. Many introductory engineering courses in universities have hundreds of students, and some online classes are even larger. Instructors in these circumstances often turn to online homework systems, which help greatly reduce the grading burden; however, they come at the cost of reducing the quality of feedback that students receive. Since online systems typically can only automatically grade multiple choice or numeric answer questions, students predominately do not receive feedback on the critical skill of sketching free-body diagrams (FBD).

An online, sketch-recognition based tutoring system called Mechanix requires students to draw free-body diagrams for introductory statics courses in addition to grading their final answers. Students receive feedback about their diagrams that would otherwise be difficult for instructors to provide in large classes. Additionally, Mechanix can grade open-ended truss design problems with an indeterminate number of solutions.

Mechanix has been in use for over six semesters at five different universities by over 1000 students to study its effectiveness. Students used Mechanix for one to three homework assignments covering free-body diagrams, static truss analysis, and truss design for an open-ended problem. Preliminary results suggest the system increases homework engagement and effort for students who are struggling and is as effective as other homework systems for teaching statics. Focus groups showed students enjoyed using Mechanix and that it helped their learning process.

Hammond, T., & Runyon, M., & Linsey, J., & Talley, K., & Shryock, K., & Viswanathan, V., & Caldwell, B. (2022, August), Changing Homework Achievement with Mechanix Pedagogy: A Recap Paper presented at 2022 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Minneapolis, MN. 10.18260/1-2--42074

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