June 20, 2010
June 20, 2010
June 23, 2010
15.863.1 - 15.863.22
Measuring Differences in Student Outcomes in a Basic Materials Engineering Course from Collaborative Experiences Focused on Biomedical Applications Abstract
During the past seven years several known best practices in teaching to improve student learning outcomes have been integrated into our Introduction to Materials Engineering course, transforming it from a traditional lecture only course to a course focused on conceptual learning with many active, collaborative experiences. In addition to serving engineering technology students, the course is the basic materials engineering component of a new interdisciplinary Materials Science minor that includes chemistry, physics, and geology students. The course is also required for manufacturing and supply chain management majors. For the past two years, biomedical devices and case studies have been introduced as focus areas with the intention of improving student learning in fundamentals such as structure-property relationships, materials selection based on mechanical properties/design criteria, and phase transformations. These areas were targeted because previous assessment data revealed that several student outcomes in these areas could be improved. Collaborative exercises which build upon materials selection and performance in devices experiencing significant loads during service, such as orthopedic replacement devices and stents, seem to be promising tools in improving certain student learning outcomes and have built student interest and excitement in the course. Even in this diverse audience, students have a conceptual foundation from which scaffolding can be built to enhance their knowledge base in materials engineering. To illustrate, it is essential that the femoral stem in a hip replacement load the bone appropriately so that bone loss does not occur from stress shielding. And, the interplay of material properties with design geometry is obvious in these constrained systems. Another example used in developing understanding in structure-property relationships is the use ultra high molecular weight polyethylene in joint replacement wear surfaces. It is possible to conceptually link the required mechanical properties of components to the effect of the degree of polymerization, examine the difference between semi-crystalline and amorphous plastics, and the resulting differences in wear properties.
This paper compares the student learning outcomes that were measured for the course sections which used collaborative work based upon biomedical devices and collaborative written research work to the outcomes of previous course sections that did not use the biomedical device focus or collaborative written work. The paper also highlights differences in student performance with a previous, different focus area - music strings and stringed musical instrument design. Student learning style data is also detailed within the paper. Pre- and post-course concept questionnaires and traditional tests scores were used as evaluation tools. The pre- and post-course concept questionnaires were modified this academic year to further probe existing misconceptions and conceptual gains. The paper concludes with summary of the assessment information, lessons learned, and future directions for this course.
During the past seven years several known best practices in teaching to improve student learning outcomes have been integrated into our Introduction to Materials Engineering course,
Kitto, K. (2010, June), Measuring Differences In Student Outcomes In A Basic Materials Engineering Course From Collaborative Experiences Focused On Biomedical Applications Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--15819
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