June 15, 2019
June 15, 2019
October 19, 2019
Core courses such as Dynamics and Thermodynamics are very difficult courses for many Undergraduate students. At the University of Texas El Paso it is no different. The Mechanical Engineering Department teaches Dynamics as a sophomore and Thermodynamics as a first term junior course. There is unfortunately a large failure rate for both classes.
The intervention reported in this paper helps students take ownership of their education. The department wants students to learn to ask questions to other students in the class. The department also wants students to answer questions. The method described and evaluated in this paper uses social media methods. By awarding credit for participation, students engage. When students answer questions, they can be “up voted” by fellow students and faculty. Up voted students can earn even more credit thus encouraging them to help others by helping themselves. By maintaining longitudinal data, students can use the up votes from their complete undergraduate experience to produce portfolio evidence they can be proud to show potential employers and graduate schools. This can provide a quantifiable measure of student performance independent of grades. Ultimately, the department hopes to modify student behavior so they look to student colleagues for help.
This paper presents the long-term plan of the department to modify student behavior. It also describes the progress to date in two courses. It goes into detail for Thermodynamics and Dynamics and shows the correlation between participation and classroom performance giving an indication of the efficacy of the methods.
Everett, L. J., & Love, N., & Shuvo, M. M., & Zade, V. B. (2019, June), Efficacy of Social Media Communications for Enhancing Student Success Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--32698
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