June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
26.483.1 - 26.483.10
Develop a Better Way to Practice to Enhance Students’ Experience in Learning DynamicsAbstractIn this paper we will share how we design appropriate practice activities in the undergraduatedynamics course to enhance students’ learning experience and improve their problem solvingskills.Solving dynamics problems involves numerous knowledge and skills such as problemformulation, applying concepts of dynamics, and finding numerical solutions etc. Students oftenfind it difficult in learning dynamics because learning these concepts and solving problems haveproduced exceedingly high cognitive loads for their limited working memory. If learningactivities were not designed to integrate characteristics of working memory, long-term memory,or the intricate relations between them, students won’t be able to achieve truly learning viaeffectively using their working memory and gradually accumulating knowledge and skills inlong-term memory. Therefore, we need to modify learning materials and design practiceactivities to match students’ cognitive level. This teaching philosophy has been well explained inCognitive Load Theory (CLT). On the other hand, researchers in psychology have doneextensive work and theoretical development regarding elite performers’ characteristics. It hasbeen discovered that deliberate practice plays an important role in shaping expert performancebecause it leads to refinement and maintenance of the mediating mechanisms such as mentalrepresentation, anticipation skills, and control of motor actions etc.Based on CLT and principles of deliberate practice, we isolate elements of problem solvingskills, develop repetitive and successive refined exercises to improve each of the elements, andschedule the sequence of activities to achieve smoother transitions to more complex learningtasks. We will share details of applying deliberate practice in teaching dynamics. Both attitudinaland objective assessment will be used to demonstrate the effectiveness of this teaching practice.The widely adopted Dynamic Concept Inventory (DCI) Version 1.0 will be used in our study asthe objective assessment tool.
Tang, Y., & Bai, H. (2015, June), Develop a Better Way to Practice to Enhance Students’ Experience in Learning Dynamics Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.23821
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