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Eliminating Lectures (and video lectures) in Large Introductory Materials Science and Engineering Courses: Large Gains in Student Learning

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2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014



Conference Session

Materials Division Technical Session 2

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

24.469.1 - 24.469.13



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Paper Authors


Steven M. Yalisove University of Michigan

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S. M. Yalisove obtained a PhD in Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania in 1986. After a post doc at Bell Laboratories, he joined the Michigan faculty in 1989. In 1996 he was a Fulbright scholar at the FOM institute in the Netherlands. He is currently the Associate Director of the Materials Laboratory at the Center for Ultrafast Optical Sciences at the University of Michigan. Yalisove’s current research focuses on understanding the relationships between atomic structure and materials properties at surfaces and interfaces in a wide variety of material systems. He has made important contributions to the fields of surface science, thin film growth, evolution of thin film morphology, and most recently, the interaction of high intensity femtosecond laser pulses and materials. Ultrafast laser/material interaction is being studied in his group to understand the fundamental mechanisms which drive ablation and collateral damage. His work focuses on the modification and material removal processes in metals, semiconductors and ceramics as well as organic materials including graphene and carbon nanotubes. Yalisove uses a variety of characterization techniques including pump-probe ultrafast microscopy, femtosecond Laser Induced Breakdown Spectroscopy (fsLIBS), dual pulse LIBS, optical and scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, and a variety of in-situ probes. Recently his group discovered a novel approach to nano and micro fluidic channel manufacturing using ultrafast lasers. Additionally, his group has been investigating the role that fs lasers can play in modification of interfaces for joining materials. A recent discovery of non-thermal point defect injection mechanisms (well below the melt threshold) offer a novel approach for diffusion bonding. His group is also studying interfacial morphological changes to increase surface of an interface as well as using still higher fluence to induce shock waves for mechanical bonding. Steven has also been very interested in educational pedagogies since 1996 when he was the first person at UM to use clickers. He was also the first person at UM to reject clickers. Almost 20 years later, he has, once again, embraced clicker technology now that he has eliminated lectures and has time in class for peer instruction.

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Shanna R. Daly University of Michigan Orcid 16x16

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Eliminating Lectures (and video lectures) in Large Introductory Materials Science and Engineering Courses: Large Gains in Student Learning!Lecturing to passive students has dominated engineering education despite numerous studies thatsuggest learning is more effective and deeper if active methods are used. The work presentedhere will use the same 180 student class and the same instructor as both the control andintervention group. This introductory materials science and engineering class has beentraditionally taught as three 50 minute lectures per week plus a 50 minute recitation. Theexperiment replaced one lecture a week with active learning activities and peer instruction whilecontinuing to have traditional lectures the other two sessions per week.!These active learning sessions were augmented by a short online quiz that students were requiredto take. They were permitted to retake the quiz as many times as needed to earn the score theydesired. These quizzes were based on the reading assignments.!An optional, short (<5 min) video was produced each week to replace the only component oflecture that was deemed valuable, inspiration. These videos were not intended to transfer anyinformation. Rather, these short documentary style videos featured a different faculty memberand their graduate students each week, sharing their passion for their research in the material thatwe wanted our students to study.!Learning was assessed by tagging exam questions based on the presentation style (lecture oractive learning) and comparing the data on two midterms and the final exam. All exams showeda significant difference in exam question score for concepts taught using active learningactivities. For example, the final exam showed a 19% difference in the median score on theactive learning tagged questions versus the traditional lecture tagged questions.!The paper will include additional information on methodologies as well as additional results. Wewill also discuss our current approach to use the results from this study to guide revisions fromthe course, which is to eliminate lecture and focus on active engagement in problem solvingduring class time.!!

Yalisove, S. M., & Daly, S. R. (2014, June), Eliminating Lectures (and video lectures) in Large Introductory Materials Science and Engineering Courses: Large Gains in Student Learning Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20360

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