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How to Improve a Textbook with Engineering Technology Students

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Conference

2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Indianapolis, Indiana

Publication Date

June 15, 2014

Start Date

June 15, 2014

End Date

June 18, 2014

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Issues in ET Education II

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count

13

Page Numbers

24.676.1 - 24.676.13

DOI

10.18260/1-2--20567

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/20567

Download Count

105

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Paper Authors

biography

Barry Dupen Indiana University Purdue University, Fort Wayne

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Dr. Dupen is an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering Technology at Indiana University – Purdue University Fort Wayne (IPFW). He has 9 years’ experience as a metallurgist, materials engineer, and materials laboratory manager in the automotive industry. His primary interests lie in materials engineering, mechanics, and engineering technology education. He is also an experienced contra dance caller.

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Abstract

How to Improve a Textbook with Engineering Technology StudentsAbstractStrength of Materials is the hardest course in the first two years of the Mechanical, Civil, andArchitectural Engineering Technology programs at ____; consequently it has the highest dropand fail rate (between 18% and 30% per semester). A previous ASEE paper described the processfor creating a new textbook designed to help students learn better and pass the course in largernumbers. The textbook is free, available online as a 2 MB pdf file. This paper focuses oncontinuous improvement of the textbook. While commercially-produced textbooks are updatedonce every four to ten years, the new textbook is updated every semester based on studentfeedback. In the first semester of the new textbook's use, feedback was optional and worth extracredit points. Unfortunately, only the most desperate students participated, and the quality of theresponses was inadequate. Subsequently, feedback was incorporated into the homeworkassignments as a course requirement, with better than 90% participation. Feedback must be bothspecific and actionable: “this chapter is confusing” does not meet these criteria, whereas “I don'tunderstand how to solve the moment in Example 6, page 45” meets both criteria. A student maynot know what to change, but can easily identify the confusing parts of a text.This paper presents an analysis of the quality and quantity of feedback responses, with examplesof positive effects on the textbook over the past three semesters. Although the topic of the bookis Strength of Materials, this paper discusses techniques that can be applied to a variety ofundergraduate engineering textbook topics.

Dupen, B. (2014, June), How to Improve a Textbook with Engineering Technology Students Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--20567

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