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Re-inventing a Mechanical Properties of Materials Laboratory Course for Online Learning

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Conference

2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Hybrid and Online Learning

Tagged Division

Materials

Page Count

14

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/37639

Download Count

136

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Paper Authors

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Susan P. Gentry University of California, Davis Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0002-4708-8818

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Dr. Susan P. Gentry is an Associate Professor of Teaching Materials Science and Engineering at the University of California, Davis. In her current position at UC Davis, she is integrating computational modules into the undergraduate and graduate materials curriculum. She is specifically interested in students’ computational literacy and life-long learning of computational materials science tools.

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Gianmarco Sahragard-Monfared University of California, Davis

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Gianmarco Sahragard-Monfared earned his B.S. and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from California State University, Sacramento in 2015 and 2016, respectively. He has been teaching in the Mechanical Engineering department at California State University, Sacramento since 2016. Currently, he is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Materials Science and Engineering department at the University of California, Davis working in Dr. Jeffery Gibeling’s research group where he studies the creep properties of oxide dispersion strengthened multi-principal element alloys.

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Edward Thomas Conley University of California, Davis

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Edward Thomas Conley earned his B.S. in Chemistry from the University of California, Santa Cruz in 2015. Currently, he is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Materials Science and Engineering department at the University of California, Davis in Dr. Bruce Gates' research group where he investigates the catalytic chemistry of zirconium based metal-organic frameworks.

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Abstract

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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