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Curriculum Design of Statics and Dynamics: An Integrated Scaffolding and Hands-on Approach

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Dynamics - Wow! They accelerate

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

23.356.1 - 23.356.10



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Paper Authors


Sudhir Kaul University of Mount Union Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Kaul is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Mount Union. His research interests include Fracture Diagnostics, Structural Dynamics and Control, and Motorcycle Dynamics.

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Pattabhi Sitaram Baker College, Flint, MI

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Dr. Sitaram is an associate professor and chair of the department of engineering at Baker College in Flint, Michigan. He worked fifteen years in the automotive industry, mainly at GM, as a simulation and methods development engineer in crashworthiness. He hast taught extensively at both undergraduate and graduate levels in civil and mechanical engineering disciplines.

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Curriculum Design of Statics and Dynamics: An Integrated Scaffolding and Hands-on Approach Sudhir Kaul & Pattabhi Sitaram Department of Engineering University of Mount Union Alliance, OH, 44601Statics and Dynamics are necessary fundamental components of the engineering curriculum forMechanical Engineering (ME) and Civil Engineering (CE) students. Students typically take thesecourses at the beginning of their sophomore year and data suggests that many students drop out ofengineering majors around this time. While this may not be directly attributed to Statics andDynamics, it is widely agreed that these courses are challenging for many students. This paperpresents the outline of a recently designed course in Statics and Dynamics with many new featuresthat are not observed in the traditional courses in Statics and Dynamics. The need for designing anew combined course has been necessitated by four factors – a need for incorporating hands-onskills that are increasingly demanded by employers, navigating students through a challengingcourse that is a pre-requisite for other courses, attempting to improve retention of ME and CEstudents, and balancing the credit hour load of students in a liberal education environment wheregeneral education requirements are sizeable. This course has added new learning outcomes toaccommodate laboratory experience as well as use of simulation software to enhance studentengagement and at the same time provide the students with multiple options that encouragedifferent learning styles. The course has been designed for four credit hours consisting of 180minutes of lecture time, 120 minutes of laboratory time and 60 minutes of tutoring time every weekof the fourteen week semester. The contact time has been distributed so as to promote scaffoldingof the learning process. The learning outcomes established for this course include ABET outcomes ‘a’and ‘e’ as well as ABET outcomes ‘b’ and ‘k’. Although it can be argued that the inclusion of morelearning outcomes may overburden the students and require them to allocate more time for thiscourse, the feedback from students for the last two semesters has been generally positive. Thispaper provides the details of the proposed curriculum and explains the rationale behind the changesin a critical course for ME and CE students. It is expected that the proposed curriculum will lead to abroader discussion on the need to revamp critical courses in order to enhance student engagement.

Kaul, S., & Sitaram, P. (2013, June), Curriculum Design of Statics and Dynamics: An Integrated Scaffolding and Hands-on Approach Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--19370

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