Asee peer logo

Improving Students’ Learning in Statics Skills: Using Homework and Exam Wrappers to Strengthen Self-regulated Learning

Download Paper |

Conference

2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016

ISBN

978-0-692-68565-5

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Homework, Learning, and Problem Solving in Mechanics

Tagged Division

Mechanics

Page Count

28

DOI

10.18260/p.25633

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/25633

Download Count

731

Request a correction

Paper Authors

biography

Kai Jun Chew Stanford University

visit author page

Kai Jun (KJ) Chew is a Research Data Analyst in the Mechanical Engineering department at Stanford University. He is currently working closely with Dr. Sheri Sheppard on two fronts: introducing reflective activities as part of the Consortium to Promote Reflection in Engineering Education (CPREE) and implementing the Continuous Improvement Program as part of the ABET evaluation. Born and raised in Malaysia, KJ received his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Southern California (USC) and his Master of Science in the same field at Stanford University. He is currently exploring the field of data science as his potential career path.

visit author page

biography

Helen L. Chen Stanford University

visit author page

Helen L. Chen is a research scientist in the Designing Education Lab in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the Director of ePortfolio Initiatives in the Office of the Registrar at Stanford University. She is also a member of the research team in the National Center for Engineering Pathways to Innovation (Epicenter). Chen earned her undergraduate degree from UCLA and her Ph.D. in Communication with a minor in Psychology from Stanford University in 1998. Her current research interests include: 1) engineering and entrepreneurship education; 2) the pedagogy of ePortfolios and reflective practice in higher education; and 3) reimagining the traditional academic transcript.

visit author page

biography

Beth Rieken Stanford University

visit author page

Beth Rieken is a sixth year graduate student at Stanford University. She is currently working on her PhD in Mechanical Engineering with a focus on the relevance of mindfulness to engineers. Beth completed a BS in Aerospace Engineering from the University of Virginia in 2010 and a MS in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford in 2012.

visit author page

biography

Autumn Turpin Stanford University

visit author page

Autumn Turpin is a junior undergraduate studying Engineering, Product Design at Stanford University. She was born and raised in the Bay Area. She has been working with the Designing Education Lab since January '14.

visit author page

biography

Sheri Sheppard Stanford University

visit author page

Sheri D. Sheppard, Ph.D., P.E., is professor of Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University. Besides teaching both undergraduate and graduate design and education related classes at Stanford University, she conducts research on engineering education and work-practices, and applied finite element analysis. From 1999-2008 she served as a Senior Scholar at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, leading the Foundation’s engineering study (as reported in Educating Engineers: Designing for the Future of the Field). In addition, in 2011 Dr. Sheppard was named as co-PI of a national NSF innovation center (Epicenter), and leads an NSF program at Stanford on summer research experiences for high school teachers. Her industry experiences includes engineering positions at Detroit's "Big Three:" Ford Motor Company, General Motors Corporation, and Chrysler Corporation.

At Stanford she has served a chair of the faculty senate, and recently served as Associate Vice Provost for Graduate Education.

visit author page

Download Paper |

Abstract

Statics is one of the fundamental courses required for engineering students, particularly for students in the mechanical, civil and aerospace fields. This course introduces students to modeling and solving real-world systems, including drawing Free Body Diagrams (FBD) and setting up equilibrium equations. These two skills are critical for bridging introductory courses to more advanced courses, such as Dynamics, Mechanics of Materials and others. The process of teaching these foundational skills typically involves giving students opportunities to hone their problem solving skills through homework assignments and exams. In this paper, the authors introduce reflection as a tool to gauge understanding, confidence and performance. This too is used to intervene in homework assignments and exams in order to enhance and improve students’ meta-cognitive awareness and self-regulated learning.

Homework and exam wrappers are reflection activities that prompt students to review their graded assignments and exams, and encourage students to reconsider their study habits and preparations. In this course, four short self-assessments were designed to help students identify their strengths and weaknesses by reflecting on their performances, the mistakes they made, their confidence in certain concepts, and views on best strategies for completing homework assignments and preparing for take-home exams in the future. Two of these wrappers were implemented after the graded homework assignments were returned to the students, and the other two were part of exam reflection. At the end of the course, the students completed an anonymous survey about the reflective activities.

Analyses focused on several different aspects of the homework and exam wrappers: number of mistakes made, levels of confidence, study strategies and students’ satisfaction on their performance. The findings suggest wrappers can have an important impact on students’ learning in engineering statics. Quantitative findings highlight several bright spots demonstrating positive impact of wrappers while qualitative findings present a strong argument for the use of wrappers in teaching and learning. Wrappers are also proven to provide the teaching team with information about students’ understanding of content and level of skills so that appropriate measures and actions can be taken to help students who are struggling in the course. Future work will include devising reliable quantitative measures for metacognitive skills, gathering more data to obtain a larger sample size, and redesigning of wrappers to optimize mutual benefits for both students and the teaching team.

Chew, K. J., & Chen, H. L., & Rieken, B., & Turpin, A., & Sheppard, S. (2016, June), Improving Students’ Learning in Statics Skills: Using Homework and Exam Wrappers to Strengthen Self-regulated Learning Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.25633

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2016 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015