June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
22.357.1 - 22.357.18
Comprehensive Course Redesign: Introduction to Mechanics of MaterialsConvergence of multiple patterns necessitates significant new directions in redesigning andteaching courses in the area of solid mechanics for undergraduate engineering students. Growing applications of polymeric, biological, and geological materials Promising approaches to teaching Key differences in behaviors of polymers and biological materials when compared with traditional engineering materials Lack of understanding of more than one measure of stress and strain and their Relationships to different failure criteria. Packed CoursesTogether, these patterns require that the mechanics community identify and advocate newapproaches to teaching undergraduate solid mechanics. New approaches to course design andteaching are required to address these multiple challenges.One opportunity for course redesign is the mechanics of materials course taken by sophomoreor junior mechanical engineering students, which is a pivotal course in undergraduate curriculafor mechanical engineers. In redesigning the course, the faculty member that redesigned thecourse, identified a set of learning outcomes by focusing on core ideas for the course and thenused Bloom’s taxonomy to articulate three different levels of achievement: Level of Achievement Calculate/identify Apply/analyze Evaluate/design Core Course Ideas Functional decomposition Concept of failure and material transitions (yielding, fracture, deformation, buckling) Stress Strain Stress versus strain behavior (elasticity, viscoelasticity) Multi-axial loading behavior Specific geometry (e.g., beams, thin wall objects) behaviorWith the learning outcomes established, the faculty member that taught course reorganizedcourse material around a set of five prototypical problems. For each problem, the facultymember presents a scenario in the context of a realistic design challenge, ambiguous desiredoutcomes, and a vague collection of constraints. Then, students offer ideas on how to approachdefining a problem, generating alternatives, and identifying key mechanics concepts that willplay a role in the solution. Here is an example of the problems that have been presented in thecourse: Students are given the responsibility of designing components in a prosthetic knee joint using a four-bar mechanism. After initial determination of functional requirements for a solution, students decompose the problem further to determine which material transitions (yielding, buckling, viscoelastic deformation, etc.) are central to the propoer performance of the design. This gives the students an immediate indication of the relevance of course content rather than initially presenting the concepts and trying to make a case for why they are important.Assessment is based on quizzes, in-class examinations, in-class presentation of mechanicsconcepts by student teams, and a final examination. On quizzes and exams, each questioncorresponds to a core course idea and a level of achievement. Course grades are assignedbased on patterns of demonstrated learning with respect to a table of core course ideas andlevels of achievement. For example, an “A” could be earned if the student demonstrates level 3achievement (evaluate/design) for at least four core course ideas.Student learning in this innovative course redesign is assessed by performance in the courseand tracking student performance in courses for which the mechanics of materials course is aprerequisite. Results from the project assessment will be presented in the paper.
Froyd, J. E., & Schwartz, C. J., & Rajagopal, K. R. (2011, June), Comprehensive Course Redesign: Introduction to the Mechanics of Materials Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--17638
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