June 22, 2008
June 22, 2008
June 25, 2008
13.979.1 - 13.979.10
PHLIpS for Active Learning
Abstract The PHLIpS (Producing Hands-on Learning to InsPire Students) Method provides a systematic approach for professors desiring to develop active learning activities for their classrooms. Many professors appreciate the benefits of active learning and wish to include more activities in their classroom. Unfortunately, activities for a given topic or course are commonly not available as an off-the-self, ready-to-use product. The PHLIpS’s purpose is to be a quick and effective method for professors to streamline the development process for creating active learning activities for their classrooms. This paper briefly presents the method and then details a controlled experimental evaluation of the PHLIpS Method and supporting tools such as the flip book which contains short guidelines of each step. A between-participants experiment was used to measure the method’s effects. Participants were students in a graduate engineering class. Many planned to teach after graduation and most had experience as teaching assistants. Outcome measures included a post-session opinion survey and measures related to the concepts generated. The PHLIpS Method was found to be effective and was well received by the participants.
1. Introduction Active learning approaches improve students’ overall understanding1. There is considerable literature that addresses the advantages of using hands-on experiences in engineering and STEM curricula2-17. Although the importance of active learning activities is well recognized, few ready- to-use activities are currently available for a given subject or topic. In addition, little formal guidance as a systematic approach for their development exists18. The paper first presents the PHLIpS Method (Producing Hands-on Learning to InsPire Students)19 for the creation of active learning products (ALPs). The paper next focuses on validating and evaluating the PHLIpS Method with a controlled experiment. Results from the experiment are shown and discussed. Finally conclusions are made and future work is discussed.
2. Overview of the PHLIpS Method The PHLIpS Method19 is a tool to guide professors in the efficient creation of ALPs. Figure 1 shows a summary of the method used to guide the development of ALPs. A set of cards which serve as a quick reference for each ALP is shown in Figure 2. ALPs are based on enhancing learning through the use of hands-on and student-driven active learning experiences. The method begins with understanding the educational goals, generating ideas, systematic selection of ideas, and finally implementation and evaluation of the newly-created ALPs (Figure 1). This methodology also seeks to relate all types of student personality types and learning styles to active learning. This is done as part of the “evaluation” step. ALPs are categorized into themes, such as hands-on exercises, thought experiments, forensic investigations, physical measurements, multimedia exercises and design applications. Currently, over twenty-five ALPs for mechanics of materials have been created across these themes. The PHLIpS Method can also be used for design of ALPs for other technical topics. See Linsey, et al.,19 for a more detailed explanation of the method.
A complete set of ALP materials including student worksheets, detailed professor notes and supporting material, are available at the Active Learning for Mechanics of Materials website (http://www.me.utexas.edu/~alps/).
Linsey, J., & Talley, A., & Wood, K., & Jensen, D., & Schmidt, K. (2008, June), Phlips For Active Learning Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3979
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