July 26, 2021
July 26, 2021
July 19, 2022
The COVID-19 pandemic caused many institutions to shift from in-person learning to online delivery of course content. Unfortunately, this included laboratory courses that are traditionally taught using hands-on experiments and equipment. For instance, students enrolled in the Mechanical Properties of Materials Laboratory course at [the REDACTED institution] typically quench and anneal samples, set up tensile tests, measure Rockwell hardness, polish metallographic samples, and view microstructures using an optical microscope. With only two weeks to prepare for the online-only Spring Quarter, it was impossible to meet the standard learning goals of developing hands-on experimental skills alongside topics on analysis and communication of data.
Instead, the instructional team re-imagined the course learning objectives. A greater emphasis was placed on data analysis methods such as statistics. We also chose to emphasize written communication, including constructing arguments and problem statements. These topics were taught in guided one-hour discussions sections with the Teaching Assistants (TAs), while the weekly one-hour lectures focused on the scientific content for the labs. For several labs, students were provided with videos of lab exercises and data to analyze. However, the two-week nanoindentation module also included viewing a public webinar by Warren Oliver, a pioneer in nanoindentation, and a live, remote experimentation session with industry engineers. This paper will report on the adapted course content and reflections from the instructor, TAs, and selected students.
Gentry, S. P., & Sahragard-Monfared, G., & Conley, E. T. (2021, July), Re-inventing a Mechanical Properties of Materials Laboratory Course for Online Learning Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/37639
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