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Mapping Conventional Teaching Methods and Learning Styles in Engineering Dynamics

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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

Measuring Learning in Statics & Dynamics

Tagged Division

Mechanics

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

19

DOI

10.18260/p.25677

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/25677

Download Count

236

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Paper Authors

biography

Meera NK Singh P.Eng University of Calgary

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Meera Singh has over 20 years of academic and industrial experience in the area of applied mechanics. She obtained her PhD. from the University of Waterloo, Canada, specializing in fatigue life prediction methods. Following her PhD studies, she joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Manitoba, Canada, where she was a faculty member for 13 years. During that time, she conducted research primarily in the area of the fatigue behaviour of composite materials, was active in teaching courses in applied mechanics, and served as the Chair for the WISE outreach committee. Meera joined the Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering at the University of Calgary in 2015.

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biography

Leszek Sudak P.Eng. University of Calgary

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The University of Calgary where he has been a faculty member since 2001. Since 2008 he has been the Associate Head for Mechanical Engineering.
Leszek has earned a BSc (Specialization) in Mathematics, a BSc (Distinction) in Mining Engineering and PhD in Mechanical Engineering all from the University of Alberta. He completed a Post-Doctoral term at Queen’s University. His research interests lie in the general area of continuum mechanics and numerical modeling with applications ranging from Biomedical Engineering to Materials Engineering. I have supervised a total of 10 MSc and PhD students throughout my career. My publication record consists of over 45 peer –reviewed journal publications in leading international journals with over 950 citations and an h-index of 15. I have made significant contributions in the area of composite mechanics research.
Les has served on numerous University, National and International committees. He has served on the Schulich School of Engineering Undergraduate Scholarship Committee, member of the Schulich School of Engineering Undergraduate Committee, Schulich School of Engineering Post Graduate Committee and many others. He also served as a committee member on the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) for a Strategic Network Grant. He has been a member of several International Research Organizing Committees and currently is the Treasurer for the Canadian Congress of Applied Mechanics.
Throughout his time at the University of Calgary Les has taught many undergraduate and graduate courses in Mechanical Engineering as well as general engineering classes such as ENGG 349 and ENGG 317. He has consistently maintained a high Student Approval Rating and has been awarded numerous Undergraduate Teaching Excellence Awards. These include: the University of Calgary Student Union Teaching Excellence Award (2014), the University of Calgary Engineering Students Society Excellence in Teaching Award (2014), the University of Calgary Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering Teaching Excellence Award (2012), the University of Calgary Engineering Students Society Excellence in Teaching Award (2011), the University of Calgary Engineering Students Society Excellence in Teaching Award (2006) and the University of Calgary Student Union Teaching Excellence Award (2005). In addition, Les has been actively involved as supervisor, mentor and examiner for many graduate students. In particular Les has been a member of 17 different supervisory committees. Les has served as an external examiner to the University for 3 final PhD defense examinations as well as participated as examiner for over 100 different graduate student examinations (such as MSc Oral defense, PhD candidacy and final oral defense as well as MEng comprehensive examinations).

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biography

Philip Egberts P.Eng. University of Calgary Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-3353-4493

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Philip Egberts obtained his Ph.D. from the McGill University in Montreal, Canada specializing in Experimental Condensed Matter Physics, while completing most of his research at the INM-Leibniz Institute for New Materials in Saarbrücken, Germany. Following his PhD studies, he joined the Carpick Research Group in the Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics department at the University of Pennsylvania as a Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada Postdoctoral Fellow (PDF). He has been an Assistant Professor at the University of Calgary in the Department of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering since September 2013, where his current focus is on the investigation of atomic and nanoscale investigation of friction with the goal of making physical and predictive models of friction. More recently, he has been expanding topics to include engineering tribology, to improve surface engineering for automotive applications and examine lubrication mechanisms for drilling in the oil and gas industry. In July 2015, he was appointed as Associate Head Graduate Studies in Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering.

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Abstract

Mapping Conventional Teaching Methods and Learning Styles in Engineering Dynamics

Engineering dynamics is considered to be one of the most challenging courses at the University of Calgary. For the past 10 years, the failure rate has hovered around 15-20%. This rate has serious implications on student retention for the approximately 400 students each year that require engineering dynamics as prerequisite for several other core courses. An initial failure of Engineering dynamics results in a minimum of a half a year extension to a student’s degree program. Furthermore, a second failure of this course requires the student to withdraw from the Engineering school.

The course is offered in multiple sections, taught by several instructors using uniform teaching and assessment methods. Teaching evaluations vary across sections from very poor to those that result in teaching awards, but these results cannot be correlated with the differences in student success rate. The school assures uniformity in teaching and evaluation methods across sections. Specifically, lectures and tutorials involve theory derivations, and example problem solutions. Assignments and exams are geared toward students solving textbook type problems. Although this type of course delivery method is tried and true, and addresses most common learning styles, the student success rate for the course as a whole suggests a need for reflection.

The objective of this paper is to improve student outcomes by examining the demographics and learning styles of a the Engineering Dynamics class of fall 2015. The students were surveyed to determine their learning styles using the Felder-Soloman index of learning styles (ILS) survey. The analysis shows that there are program-specific systemic barriers hindering student success. Furthermore, the learning style survey results indicate that student learning could improved by adopting a more balanced approach to teaching. Associated learning tools, specific to the dynamics curriculum, designed to address the learning outliers are suggested.

Singh, M. N., & Sudak, L., & Egberts, P. (2016, June), Mapping Conventional Teaching Methods and Learning Styles in Engineering Dynamics Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.25677

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