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Mech Madness: A Fun Way To Assess Student Comprehension And Evaluate Homework

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Trends in Mechanical Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.847.1 - 7.847.6



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Paper Authors

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Jason Bartolomei

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

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Captain Jason Bartolomei Department of Engineering Mechanics United States Air Force Academy Colorado Springs, Colorado

INTRODUCTION Are you tired of collecting homework? Are you grading the same problems over and over again, year after year, and still not convinced the students are getting it? If so you might consider holding a Mech Madness session for your class. Mech Madness is an in- class, 20- minute ladder tournament, where students compete against each other, testing course and homework knowledge for a grade.

Mech Madness is effective for many reasons. Firstly, it is a fun change of pace for the students and faculty. Secondly, students are forced to work cooperatively on homework, helping each other understand complicated material. Thirdly, the competitive nature of the game entices more students to complete the homework assignments, better preparing them for the more heavily-weighted graded events.

This paper provides instructors who are looking for innovative teaching ideas and methods with a complete description of the Mech Madness gaming format and how to implement Mech Madness in the classroom.

HOW MECH MADNESS WORKS The game is set up like a competition ladder used in athletic gaming events. There are six gaming rounds lasting 3:00 minutes. At the end of each round, the winning teams progress to next table in the ladder and the losing teams retreat. At the end of the competition, the teams at the top table receive the highest marks and the teams at the cascading tables receive marks commensurate with their performance.

GAME SETUP Figure 1 illustrates the game setup for the competition. At the beginning of the game, students arbitrarily seat themselves at the game tables. The instructor reveals the order of play by designating the top and bottom table. Table 1 designates the top table. Table 6 is the bottom table.

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright @ 2002, American Society for Engineering Educators

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Bartolomei, J. (2002, June), Mech Madness: A Fun Way To Assess Student Comprehension And Evaluate Homework Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10429

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