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Lessons Learned from Changing Content Delivery Methods in Engineering Statics

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016





Conference Session

PBL and Flipped Classrooms in Civil Engineering Education

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

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Paper Authors


Laura Doyle Santa Clara University

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Dr. Laura Doyle is a lecturer in the Civil Engineering Department at Santa Clara University where she teaches undergraduate courses in civil engineering. Before coming to SCU, Laura was a post doctoral scholar for the John Muir Institute of the Environment at University of California, Davis where she used multi-dimensional models to examine water quality of the San Francisco Bay Delta system. She earned her masters and doctoral degrees at UC Davis and her undergraduate degree (all in civil engineering) is from Loyola Marymount University.

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Tonya Lynn Nilsson P.E. Santa Clara University

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Tonya Nilsson is a Lecturer in Civil Engineering at Santa Clara University (SCU), where she is also one of six Faculty Associates in their Collaborative for Teaching Innovation. Prior to joining SCU, Tonya was an Associate Professor at CSU - Chico.

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This paper examines the impact that significant pedagogical changes in an engineering statics course had on student learning, long-term retention of material, and student interest in their field of study. During the 2015-2016 academic year, five sections of engineering statics were taught, for a total of approximately 140 students including all sophomore civil and mechanical engineering students along with junior and senior electrical engineering students. Four sections, each taught by different professors, implemented significant pedagogical changes. One of the professors taught the fifth section as a control group using their normal teaching style.

Course changes incorporated the flipped class model where class time is used for hands-on activity and group problem solving with minimal lecture and where homework assignments include watching video lectures, reading the textbook and additional problem sets. A few modules of this course used the flipped-flipped classroom model. In this variation on the inverted classroom, students complete an in-class, hands-on activity before completing an assigned homework that includes watching a ten to fifteen minute on-line module explaining the theory and then completing homework problems. The flipped-flipped model has been shown to bring improved learning over just the flipped model and student learning gains for both approaches will be compared

The statics concept inventory developed by Paul Steif was used twice during the course to asses pre- then post- course knowledge. The concept inventory will also be used to assess long-term retention of a cohort of students one to four months after they finished the course. Results between the control class and the students taught with the inverted model will be compared. To determine if this inverted model has a perceived or real effect on student learning depending on the student’s preferred learning style, student performance on the concept inventory exams and their surveyed interest in the material will be compared to their reported learning styles determined as part of a course assignment.

Doyle, L., & Nilsson, T. L. (2016, June), Lessons Learned from Changing Content Delivery Methods in Engineering Statics Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.25551

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