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Creating A Shared Learning Environment For Engineering And Engineering Technology Students In Strength Of Materials

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1998 Annual Conference


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 28, 1998

Start Date

June 28, 1998

End Date

July 1, 1998



Page Count


Page Numbers

3.174.1 - 3.174.7



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David R. Haws

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1547

Creating a Shared Learning Environment for Engineering and Engineering Technology Students in Strength of Materials

David R. Haws Boise State University

Abstract: While Engineering (EN) and Engineering Technology (ET) programs are usually quite separate, there are certain curricular areas that both programs share. Strength of Materials is a good example. However, while this is a foundational course for most EN students, usually taken during the sophomore year, many ET students take the course toward the end of their degree programs in the junior, and sometimes even in the senior year. Consequently the learning objectives in Strength of Materials might reasonably be expected to vary between EN and ET programs. When these programs are combined within a single institution, ET students are often expected to take a Strength of Materials course geared for EN students, regardless of their own distinct educational needs. In those cases where ET students are given a course offering separate from EN students, the burden on available learning resources can sometimes lead to a diminished quality of instruction.

The Personalized System of Instruction (PSI) which allows students to progress at their own pace, can also be used to combine EN and ET students in the same classroom, with the same instructor and the same text book, yet with distinct learning objectives tailored to satisfy the needs of their individual programs. The author has taught Strength of Materials to classes designed exclusively for EN students, exclusively for ET students, and designed for a mix of EN and ET students. This past year he has developed and implemented Strength of Materials PSI courses for both EN and ET students based on separate agendas of learning objectives, and is now in a position to combine both courses in the same classroom.

Introduction My third teaching assignment as a graduate student was a course in Strength of Materials, which was a core requirement for all EAC-ABET Engineering (EN) programs within the College of Engineering and Technology at a western university. It was also a core requirement for our ACCE accredited Construction Management (CM) program, which was otherwise more closely aligned with the College's Engineering Technology (ET) majors. While Strength of Materials was not a prerequisite for any further classes in Chemical (ChE) or Electrical Engineering (EE), it was prerequisite for many core classes in both Mechanical (ME) and Civil Engineering (CE). It was also the prerequisite for two classes required of CM students: Soil Mechanics, and Structural Analysis, which they were required to take with CE students. It was a generally held belief that taking these mathematically rigorous courses with EN students would give CM students excellent preparation for working with Engineers (with typical chauvinism, there wasn't much talk of engineers gaining from exposure to CM students). However, there seemed to be a growing undercurrent of thought that CM students might possibly be better served by separate courses.

Haws, D. R. (1998, June), Creating A Shared Learning Environment For Engineering And Engineering Technology Students In Strength Of Materials Paper presented at 1998 Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/1-2--7001

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