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Impact of an Online Learning Environment on Student Performance and Perceptions in a Fluid Mechanics Course

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Conference

2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

The Best of the Computers in Education

Tagged Division

Computers in Education

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

16

DOI

10.18260/1-2--28458

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/28458

Download Count

295

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Paper Authors

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Paul Morrow Nissenson California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

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Paul Nissenson (Ph.D. Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, University of California, Irvine, 2009) is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. He teaches courses in fluid mechanics, thermodynamics, and numerical methods. Paul's current research interests involve studying the impact of technology in engineering education.

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Faye Linda Wachs California Polytechnic State University, Pomona

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Faye Linda Wachs is a professor of Sociology in the Department of Psychology & Sociology at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. Dr. Wachs received her Phd in Sociology from the University of Southern California, along with a graduate certificate in gender studies. Dr. Wachs’ published work focuses on gender equity, health, fitness, media, sport, sexuality and consumerism. Her book, Body Panic: Gender, Health and the Selling of Fitness, co-authored with Shari Dworkin was the recipient of the North American Society for Sport Sociology (NASSS) Distinguished Book Award in 2010. She is the California State Polytechnic University, Pomona 2012 Provost Award Winner for Distinguished Service as well as the 2009-10 Cal Poly Pomona College of Letters, Arts and Social Sciences Outstanding Advisor. Dr. Wachs is the former president of an international academic organization, the North American Society for Sport Sociology. Dr. Wachs’ current research focuses on the impact of facial paralysis, innovative research methods, social media and identity and STEM Education. In her spare time, Dr. Wachs enjoys hiking, running, biking, sailing, knitting/crocheting/sewing and spending time with her family and dogs.

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Juliana Lynn Fuqua California State Polytechnic Pomona University

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Juliana Fuqua, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology and Sociology at California State University Polytechnic, Pomona who completed her doctoral degree at the University of California, Irvine. Dr. Fuqua’s dissertation at the University of California, Irvine, was an evaluation of transdisciplinary scientific collaboration, which was part of a large National Institutes of Health Initiative. Dr. Fuqua is a quantitative and qualitative consultant, trained in survey methods, statistics, focus groups, interviews, and program evaluation. Consulting work has included local and national transdisciplinary endeavors. Current interests include evaluation of innovations in STEM products and education, transdisciplinary scientific collaboration, and understanding how the social and physical environment interacts with human development and behavior.

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Yitong Zhao California State Polytechnic University Pomona

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Dr. Yitong Zhao is an Assistant Professor at the Mechanical Engineering Department of Cal Poly Pomona (California State Polytechnic University Pomona). After gained her B.S in MEMS from Tsinghua University in China, she joined in Dr. Chih-Ming Ho’s lab at UCLA in 2009. Later she completed her Ph.D in Biomedical Engineering there in 2014. Her was engaged in the project of biofuel and later developed a unique cell-free system from microalgae that could dramatically increase the production rate of lipids, and used a unique optimization tool to urther increase the performance of the cell-free system with a huge reduction of cost. The results earned her two patents. After joining Cal Poly Pomona, she devoted herself in teaching and have been experimenting with many different techniques in improving the class experience in order to meet the need of modern study.

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Sofia Pedroza University of California, Irvine

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Sofia Pedroza received her B.A in Sociology with an emphasis in Social Work from Cal Poly Pomona and is currently pursuing a joint PhD-JD degree from the University of California, Irvine. Her research interests include sociology of law, political sociology, gender, and higher education.

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Angela C. Shih California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

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Abstract

Fluid mechanics is a major bottleneck in many mechanical engineering programs. "ME 311: Fluid Mechanics I," a course taken by third-year mechanical engineering and civil engineering students at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona (Cal Poly Pomona), is characterized by high enrollment and high repeat rates. During 2007-2014, approximately one-third of ME 311 students received repeatable grades (D, F, or Withdrawal), with another third receiving C’s. In an effort to improve student performance in ME 311, the authors implemented a series of new pedagogical strategies during 2015-2016. The new strategies were introduced in stages and featured the use of McGraw-Hill Connect, an online assignment and assessment platform, as well as dedicating more class time for engaging activities. Faculty from the Department of Mechanical Engineering Department and Department of Psychology & Sociology at Cal Poly Pomona collaborated to measure student academic performance through the use of concept inventories, exam scores, and overall course grades, while student perceptions of the course were examined using surveys and focus groups. The concept inventories and surveys were administered at the beginning and end of the course to determine the extent to which students’ knowledge of the subject matter and opinions changed during a quarter. Connect was introduced in Fall 2015 and Winter 2016; each quarter, one experimental section (with Connect) and one control section (without Connect) were taught, with other aspects of the course remaining the same. For Fall 2015, scores on the concept inventory indicated that the experimental section appeared to learn more throughout the course, and the repeat rate was much lower (23.5% for the experimental section versus 38.9% for the control section). For Winter 2016, the experiment was repeated with a different instructor. The difference between the experimental and control sections’ performance on the concept inventory was not statistically significant, but the repeat rate was lower for the experimental section (26.7%) compared to the control section (38.7%). For Spring 2016, both sections were required to use Connect and the instructor experimented with a more engaging pedagogy. In the experimental section, class time was dedicated to discussing concepts and worked examples – as recommended by student focus groups in a prior quarter – with no derivations of equations. Instead, derivations were discussed in videos created by the authors that could be watched outside of class. In the control section, class time was used in a similar manner as previous quarters and included derivations. The experimental section performed better on exams and the repeat rate was much lower (20.0% for experimental versus 44.1% for control). For all three quarters, the attitudinal surveys indicate that students in the experimental sections felt more positively toward the course compared to the control sections, although the difference between the two sections varied by quarter. The results from this study suggest that the use of Connect and dedication of more class time to worked examples have the potential to positively impact student performance in fluid mechanics courses.

Nissenson, P. M., & Wachs, F. L., & Fuqua, J. L., & Zhao, Y., & Pedroza, S., & Shih, A. C. (2017, June), Impact of an Online Learning Environment on Student Performance and Perceptions in a Fluid Mechanics Course Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28458

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