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Lessons Learned from Collaborative Development of Research-based Course Materials

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Conference

2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015

ISBN

978-0-692-50180-1

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Explorations in Mechanics Pedagogy

Tagged Division

Mechanics

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

9

Page Numbers

26.1085.1 - 26.1085.9

DOI

10.18260/p.24422

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/24422

Download Count

106

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Paper Authors

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Devlin Montfort Oregon State University

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Dr. Montfort is an Assistant Professor in the School of Chemical, Biological and Environmental Engineering at Oregon State University

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Shane A. Brown P.E. Oregon State University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-3669-8407

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Shane Brown is an associate professor in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Oregon State University. His research interests include conceptual change and situated cognition. He received the NSF CAREER award in 2010 and is working on a study to characterize practicing engineers’ understandings of core engineering concepts.

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Charles E. Riley Oregon Institute of Technology Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-7993-437X

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Dr. Riley has been teaching mechanics concepts for over 10 years and has been honored with both the ASCE ExCEEd New Faculty Excellence in Civil Engineering Education Award (2012) and the Beer and Johnston Outstanding New Mechanics Educator Award (2013). While he teaches freshman to graduate-level courses across the civil engineering curriculum, his focus is on engineering mechanics. He implements classroom demonstrations at every opportunity as part of a complete instructional strategy that seeks to overcome issues of student conceptual understanding.

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Luciana R. Barroso Texas A&M University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/https://0000-0002-3420-9449

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Luciana R. Barroso, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor of Structural Engineering in the Department of Civil Engineering, in the Dwight Look College of Engineering at Texas A&M University. Luciana has been with Texas A&M University since 1999, and in that time has taught 15 different courses ranging from the freshman to graduate levels. She has been active in academic program and curriculum development from the department level to the university level, where she served as co-chair of the Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) committee that determined the academic course of actions to be taken over the next accreditation cycle to addresses critical issues related to enhancing student learning. She has received funding for her engineering education research from the Department of Education FIPSE program and from the National Science Foundation (NSF) CCLI program. She also has been involved in several professional developments that were provided by the Aggie STEM Center to Texas ISD teachers. Her research interests include structural health monitoring and control, structural dynamics, earthquake engineering, and engineering education.

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David G. Pollock P.E. George Fox University

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Dave Pollock is a professor of civil engineering at George Fox University (GFU) in Newberg, Oregon. Prior to joining GFU, Dave was a tenured faculty member in the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering at Washington State University (WSU) where he taught and conducted research for over 16 years. Dave teaches courses ranging from sophomore-level engineering fundamentals (Statics; Dynamics; Mechanics of Materials) through senior-level structural design (Reinforced Concrete Design; Structural Steel Design).

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Jennifer Light Lewis & Clark College

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Engineering Program Director & Associate Professor at Lewis-Clark State College

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Adam Lenz Oregon State University

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Abstract

Lessons Learned from Collaborative Development of Research-Based Course MaterialsA great many course materials have been developed for engineering mechanics courses, and themajority of them are not widely used. It is often difficult to incorporate an entirely new visioninto an existing course, and instructors all have their own particular goals and concerns abouttheir courses. The purpose of this paper is to report on the experiences of several facultymembers as they seek to incorporate newly developed course materials into their mechanics ofmaterials courses. We report on our experiences following a one-and-a-half day collaborativecourse materials development workshop. After discussions of previous and ongoing research onstudent conceptual understanding of mechanics of materials, we worked in small groups todevelop course materials covering mechanics of materials topics including the major loadingscenarios (axial, bending, torsional and combined loads). The authors of this paper include boththe student understanding researchers and mechanics of materials instructors. Our collectiveinstructional experience ranges across class sizes from 1 to 100, and from two-year institutions tograduate courses relying heavily on mechanics of materials as a prerequisite.The research presented in the workshop on student conceptual understanding of mechanics ofmaterials proposes two broad themes that underlie many student difficulties. First, they find thatstudents – even successful graduate students – still struggle with differentiating core conceptssuch as stress, strain, force and load. They argue that these difficulties persist in spite ofeducation because they require students recategorize their knowledge. Such recategorization hasbeen shown to be the most difficult form of conceptual learning. Secondly, they find that themost difficult concepts and problems require students to move between two distinct cognitivedomains. Students seem to understand “analytical” concepts (Mohr’s circle, stress elements,various moduli) as entirely separate from “real” or “physical” concepts (deformations, failure,and, for some students, stress and strain). Students do not typically receive explicit instructionon the relationships between analyses and physical realities in mechanics of materials.We developed course materials to address both of these general concerns in specific contentmodules. In one set of materials, for example, students are guided through predictions,measurements and explanations of deformation and strain in an elastic band. These exercisesencourage students to carefully construct physical understandings of the differences betweenstress, strain and deformation, which will scaffold their recategorization of their knowledge.Other course materials help students investigate the limitations of their measurements andcalculations with the elastic band. This is intended to help them develop keener awareness of therelationships between physical and analytical realities.This paper and presentation will share the in-class pragmatic challenges faced in trying totranslate such abstract, large ideas into specific class activities, complete with learning objectivesand assessments. As a group, we will share our insights as we proceed in this process.

Montfort, D., & Brown, S. A., & Riley, C. E., & Barroso, L. R., & Pollock, D. G., & Light, J., & Lenz, A. (2015, June), Lessons Learned from Collaborative Development of Research-based Course Materials Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24422

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: © 2015 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