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Evaluating Prerequisite Knowledge Using a Concept Inventory for an Engineering Failure Course

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Interdisciplinary Approaches to Teaching and Outreach

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

22.645.1 - 22.645.10



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Paper Authors


David B. Lanning Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Prescott

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Dr. David B. Lanning is an Associate Professor in the Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering Department of Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University at Prescott, Arizona

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Wahyu Lestari Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Prescott

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Dr. Lestari is an Associate Professor at the Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering Department at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Prescott, Arizona.

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Shirley Anne Waterhouse Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, Daytona

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Dr. Shirley Waterhouse is the Senior Director of the Office of Academic Excellence and Innovation at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Florida. She is also the author of six books, and the most recent is The Power of eLearning: The Essential Guide for Teaching in the Digital Age, Allyn and Bacon Publishers, 2005.

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Evaluating Prerequisite Knowledge Using a Concept Inventory for an Engineering Failure CourseAbstractA unique course in engineering failure is under continued development to prepare students todesign structures and materials for challenging engineering environments. This laboratory-basedcourse, entitled Aerospace Engineering Failure, is offered to undergraduates as a technicalelective in the Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering Department at XXXX University inXXXX. The course content includes structures and materials failure modes that are notdiscussed in detail elsewhere in the undergraduate degree programs, and an overall emphasis isplaced upon topics of interest to the aerospace industry. Topics in this survey-type class includeadvanced fatigue and fracture, thermo-mechanical failure, fastener failure, wear, select types ofcorrosion, impact damage, statistical evaluation of failures, non-destructive evaluation (NDE),and an introduction to structural health monitoring. Weekly hands-on laboratory sessionsaccompany the majority of these topics, and make use of equipment not typically used bystudents in typical undergraduate degree programs, such as the scanning electron microscope,hydraulic load frames, and damage detection equipment.Needed prerequisite knowledge for this course comes primarily from solid mechanics and asubsequent course in aerospace structures. This prerequisite knowledge includes the topics ofstress state, static failure theories and related failure surfaces, and basic fatigue and fracturemechanics. A concept inventory exam has been drafted, in multiple-choice format, in an attemptto evaluate the depth of understanding students have of these topics. The short exam is given tothe students at the beginning of the semester, and once again at the end of the semester, the latterto assess whether or not these concepts have been reinforced in this new course on engineeringfailure. It is intended that results from another set of students, those who are enrolled in theaerospace structures course that is the prerequisite to Aerospace Engineering Failure, will beavailable shortly and included in the draft of this paper. This paper includes a description of thisnew course in engineering failure, and presents samples of the questions as well as studentresults for the concept inventory exam.

Lanning, D. B., & Lestari, W., & Waterhouse, S. A. (2011, June), Evaluating Prerequisite Knowledge Using a Concept Inventory for an Engineering Failure Course Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--17926

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