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“Making Statics Dynamic!” Combining Lecture And Laboratory Into An Interdisciplinary, Problem Based, Active Learning Environment.

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Conference

2007 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Effective Learning Innovations in Civil Engineering Courses

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

Page Count

16

Page Numbers

12.1618.1 - 12.1618.16

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/2491

Download Count

42

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Paper Authors

biography

Robert O'Neill Florida Gulf Coast University

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Robert J. O'Neill is Professor and Chair of the Department of Environmental and Civil Engineering in the U.A. Whitaker School of Engineering at Florida Gulf Coast University. He received his Ph.D. in Structural Engineering from Kansas State University in 1993, M.S. degrees in Structural and Geotechnical Engineering from Stanford University in 1984, and a Bachelor of Science from the United States Military Academy at West Point in 1975. He served in the Army Corps of Engineers for 23 years and retired as a Lieutenant Colonel. Dr. O'Neill has been active as a Senior Mentor and instructor in Project ExCEEd for the American Society for Civil Engineering.

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biography

Chris Geiger

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R. Christopher Geiger is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Bioengineering in the U.A. Whitaker School of Engineering at Florida Gulf Coast University. He received his M.S and Ph.D. degrees in Biomedical Engineering from Northwestern University in 1999 and 2003, respectively, and his B.S. in Chemical Engineering from Northwestern University in 1996.

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biography

Kristine Csavina The CORE Institute

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Kristine R. Csavina will join the Department of Bioengineering in the U.A. Whitaker School of Engineering at Florida Gulf Coast University as an Assistant Professor in August 2007. She received her Ph.D. in Bioengineering from Arizona State University in 2003 and her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Dayton in 1992. She has industry experience in clinical orthopedic research and as a test engineer in the aeronautical field.

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Cindy Orndoff

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Cynthia Orndoff is an Associate Professor in the Department of Environmental and Civil Engineering in the U.A. Whitaker School of Engineering at Florida Gulf Coast University. She received her Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign in 2001. Her areas of expertise include interdisciplinary engineering, asset management, decision-making, GASB#34, economic development, performance assessment, policy, performance-assessment, organizational assessment, and public relations. Dr. Orndoff’s research incorporates economics, public administration, public policy, political science, public finance, planning, and sociology aspects

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Abstract
NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

“Making Statics Dynamic!” - Combining Lecture and Laboratory into an Interdisciplinary, Problem-based, Active Learning Environment. Abstract

The new U.A. Whitaker School of Engineering at Florida Gulf Coast University has been launched as a truly multidisciplinary engineering education endeavor with simultaneous development of three B.S. degree programs in bioengineering, environmental engineering and civil engineering. This interdisciplinary engineering curriculum includes eight common courses, one each semester, that all engineering majors will take. The third course in the sequence is a combined, four credit course of statics and dynamics, named Engineering Mechanics, taught in a combined lecture-lab format. This unique format provides five contact hours weekly, 2½ hours twice a week, for a total of 70 contact hours a semester. The extended meeting periods lend themselves particularly well to the lecture-lab format. There is time during each meeting period to allow students to “discover” engineering concepts in small groups using simple, and often, inexpensive physical models and measurement equipment. During each 2½ hour class at least one small group, hands-on activity is conducted. These activities include aspects of active and cooperative learning for learning problem solving techniques, with instruction and guidance from the instructor during the learning process. These activities are inexpensive and can be incorporated into a classroom of any size. Since this course is one of the eight interdisciplinary courses in the curriculum, efforts have been made to reduce the often heavy emphasis of civil and mechanical engineering in both the textbook and the typical class. Of the four authors, two are bioengineers who will be joining the faculty over the next year and co-teach this course. They have provided advice, assistance and sample problems focused in the biomedical area. These problems have been incorporated into class exercises, homework and exams. Student exam scores will be compared to similar exams from students in past years to assess whether this method improves student learning. Students will take a mini Fundamentals of Engineering (FE) Exam in statics to assess their ability to solve statics problems. A future collaboration is planned with another university to have their students take the same exam so a comparison of the two teaching methods can be made. This paper and presentation will focus on providing examples of many of the in-class activities created and tested during the first offering of this course in the fall of 2006. Lists of needed equipment and supplies will be provided. Students showed a tremendous amount of enthusiasm and excitement for the hands-on activities. They commented on how it was so much easier to see and understand the problems.

I. Introduction

A famous Native American Proverb “Tell me and I'll forget. Show me and I may not remember. Involve me and I'll understand” sums up the philosophy behind the instructional methodology described in this paper. Students often have difficulty “seeing” the problem when everything in the classroom is two dimensional, be it the textbook, chalkboard or projection screen. Actual three dimensional, real world, physical models that the students interact with during class actually involve students to improve their understanding. One can find numerous publications discussing the merits of classroom demonstrations.1-6 Richard Felder states that “They really only learn by thinking and doing, not watching and listening.”7 The instructional methodology

O'Neill, R., & Geiger, C., & Csavina, K., & Orndoff, C. (2007, June), “Making Statics Dynamic!” Combining Lecture And Laboratory Into An Interdisciplinary, Problem Based, Active Learning Environment. Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. https://peer.asee.org/2491

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