June 22, 2008
June 22, 2008
June 25, 2008
13.432.1 - 13.432.15
Development of Kinesthetic Active Exercises for a Transport Phenomena Course
Teaching techniques that provide hands-on experiences could be useful in helping all learners, but especially kinesthetic learners, to understand conservation of mass, momentum, and energy. Helping kinesthetic learners is of particular interest in engineering since many engineering students are kinesthetic learners. The focus of this work is a required sophomore course that teaches fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, statics, and dynamics by using conservation of mass, momentum, and energy equations. It has proven to be a challenging course for students, particularly those who are kinesthetically inclined, as it requires solving a variety of physical problems starting from governing equations. In order to improve student learning, a set of kinesthetic active exercises was created to help kinesthetic learners by connecting physical understanding to theory via directed experimental experience.
Student volunteers completed both the Index of Learning Styles and the VARK test to evaluate their learning style predisposition. Five one-hour-long experimental sessions were designed to provide a group of 25 students with hands-on learning experiences related to the conservation concepts covered during course lectures. The experiments were chosen to clarify the relationship between physical phenomena and their mathematical representations. Generally, in these sessions, students were given a brief description of the operation of a hands-on experiment or exercise, asked to predict the outcome, and then asked to perform the experiment and comment on the results. Pre- and post-sessions tests were administered in selected sessions to evaluate the effects of the exercises.
Preliminary assessment of this ongoing project indicates that the hands-on sessions are helping students learn conservation principles, the foundation of engineering. Scores on post-session tests were significantly (p < 0.05, Wilcoxon signed ranks test) higher than scores on pre-tests. Students with a preference for kinesthetic learning (on the VARK test) showed a larger change in pre- to post-session test scores than non-kinesthetic learners. Students with grade point averages in the range of 2.51 – 3.00 showed a larger change in pre- to post-session test scores than students in other ranges of grade point average, and female students showed a larger improvement from pre- to post-session scores than male students. The present work describes the instructional approach used to develop kinesthetic active exercises for the sessions, presents assessment results, and describes changes planned for the next iteration of this experiment.
White, A., & Livesay, G., & Dee, K. C. (2008, June), Development Of Kinesthetic Active Exercises For A Transport Phenomena Course Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3762
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