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Integrated Teaching Model in Graduate Aerospace Classes: A Trial With Compressible Flow Aerodynamics

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Innovations in Aero Curriculum and Program Level Administration

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Sidaard Gunasekaran University of Dayton

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Sid is an Assistant Professor at the Mechanical and Aerospace Department at the University of Dayton. He got his MS and Ph.D. at the University of Dayton as well. During his doctoral studies, Sid developed a knack for teaching using modern pedagogical practices in mechanical and aerospace classes and engaged in diverse research in Low Reynolds number flows. Sid is an active participant in the Dayton/Cincinnati American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) section.

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Most of the graduate aerospace classes are dominated by complex analysis and a plethora of equations. As such, without proper context, it is very easy for a student to lose sight of the big picture, which hinders them from critically thinking about the knowledge they gained and its applicability in the real world. The recent surge of the modern pedagogical practices at the University of Dayton such as student-centered learning, active learning, co-teaching, problem/project based learning, entrepreneurial mindset learning, flipped classroom, etc., are largely focused on undergraduate classes but not in graduate classes comparatively. This paper documents a teaching model where the homework, projects, activities, lectures and independent studies are all integrated on a single platform (portfolio) in an endeavor to motivate graduate students to practice sustainable learning (long-term learning) and promote critical thinking skills. The author implemented this model for the first time in a graduate compressible flow aerodynamics class with the “portfolio” as a platform of integration. The paper also discusses the application of this model in the compressible flow class with examples, students’ reflections and feedback. Students found this model to be different and effective than traditional graduate classes and were able to connect, apply, understand and appreciate the relationship between the complex mathematical equations and the real-life applications. It was also found that creating portfolio takes more time and effort when compared to traditional exam-based class and the workload might need to be reduced.

Gunasekaran, S. (2017, June), Integrated Teaching Model in Graduate Aerospace Classes: A Trial With Compressible Flow Aerodynamics Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28546

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