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Impact of Interventions on Students' Conceptual Understanding of Dynamics Principles and Self-efficacy

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session


Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.886.1 - 26.886.7



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Paper Authors


Shaobo Huang South Dakota School of Mines and Technology

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Dr. Shaobo Huang is an Assistant Professor and the Stensaas Endowed STEM Chair in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at South Dakota School of Mines & Technology. Her research interests include student retention and academic performance in engineering, student achievement evaluation and assessment, and K-12 STEM curriculum design.

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John M. Mativo University of Georgia

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Dr. John Mativo is Associate Professor at the University of Georgia

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Impact of interventions on students' conceptual understanding of dynamics principles and self-efficacyEngineering dynamics is required in several engineering majors and the Fundamental ofEngineering exam (FE). This course is known for its challenging content and for a nationalaverage of 53% success rate in the FE. Problem identification, one outcome required by ABETcriteria, is identified as one of the challenges for students in Dynamics. With this backgroundknowledge two researchers from different institutions in different regions in the United States ofAmerica (US) conducted a quasi- experimental study to investigate the impact of interventionson students’ conceptual understanding of dynamics and engineering self-efficacy, which is a keyfactor that mediates student academic performance.Two public universities were involved in the study one located in the mid-west and the other inthe south. The university in the south was the quasi-control group while the one in the Midwestwas the treatment group. Approximately 30 students in Dynamics course at each institution wereinvolved. Students in the treatment group received a list of optional practice questions at the endof each chapter. The questions were selected from the current and previously covered chaptersand listed in a random order. The goal of this intervention was to improve students’ capacity inproblem identification and their engineering self-efficacy. In this study, problem identificationwas defined as identifying the features of questions and categorizing them by the dynamicsprinciples that can be applied to solve the corresponding group(s) of questions. Data werecollected through pre- and post-assessment from both groups at the beginning and the end of thesemester, respectively. Findings from the study shed light on effects and impact of interventionson students’ understanding of dynamics principles and self-efficacy.

Huang, S., & Mativo, J. M. (2015, June), Impact of Interventions on Students' Conceptual Understanding of Dynamics Principles and Self-efficacy Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24223

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