Asee peer logo

Quality Enhancement In Statics

Download Paper |


2010 Annual Conference & Exposition


Louisville, Kentucky

Publication Date

June 20, 2010

Start Date

June 20, 2010

End Date

June 23, 2010



Conference Session

Mechanics Division Poster Session

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

15.1007.1 - 15.1007.10

Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Thomas Rockaway University of Louisville

author page

D. Joseph Hagerty University of Louisville

Download Paper |

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

Quality Enhancement in Statics Abstract

To satisfy accreditation requirements the University of Louisville recently developed a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) to improve undergraduate instruction across all disciplines. Central elements of the plan are: emphasis on critical thinking; integration of critical thinking throughout the curriculum; service learning for undergraduates; and a culminating experience. With the adoption of the QEP, instructors were asked to incorporate these concepts into their curriculum. One of the most interesting efforts in revamping course presentation has been to change the way a truly fundamental course, Statics, is taught.

In order to modify the existing Statics course to meet the QEP objectives, minor changes were necessary in areas of course design (course objective, culminating experience, flowchart of progress) and assessment procedures (pre-quiz, group problems, and optional final). The changes were not extensive, but rather only minor changes to presentation or organizational format. Statics is one of the core courses within the engineering curriculum and a significant amount of information must be conveyed and mastered. Thus, the changes presented do not disrupt the normal classroom flow, but rather shift the emphasis and language to incorporate critical thinking explicitly.

During the summer semester 2009, 115 students were enrolled in a single Statics session where the course modifications were enacted. Grade statistics from this class were then compared to data from previous classes taught between 2004 and 2008. Based on the recorded student performance data and comments received during the course evaluations, the minor modifications made in the class presentation had a positive effect on student attitude as well as performance.


One of the requirements for accreditation according to the procedures of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) is development of a Quality Enhancement Plan (QEP) for improvement in undergraduate instruction. SACS is the recognized regional accrediting body in Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas and Virginia for those institutions of higher education that award associate, baccalaureate, master's or doctoral degrees. “An effective QEP should be carefully designed and present a focused course of action that addresses a well-defined topic or issue(s) related to enhancing student learning.”[1]

In January 2005, a QEP Team of faculty, staff and students were charged with developing such a plan for the University of Louisville. A university-wide survey was conducted to identify areas of instruction that needed improvement, and solicit suggestions on ways to remediate deficiencies. The range in response was quite wide, as expected, but generally fell into four broad categories 1) gaining the ability to solve problems and to apply theories in practice, through critical thinking; 2) integration of learning (no more outlier courses unrelated to any other course or practice area); 3) providing opportunities to apply classroom learning in practical

Rockaway, T., & Hagerty, D. J. (2010, June), Quality Enhancement In Statics Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky.

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2010 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015