June 24, 2007
June 24, 2007
June 27, 2007
12.1227.1 - 12.1227.8
Recitation in Core Engineering Mechanics Courses: Implications for Retention and Student Performance
In an ongoing attempt to improve undergraduate education and increasing student retention, the College of Engineering at North Carolina A&T State University adopted a new system in which recitations become an integral part of core engineering mechanics courses including: Statics, Dynamics, and Mechanics of Materials. Under the new lecture-recitation system, each course contains two one-hour lectures, and one two-hour recitation. The entire class attends the lectures in which the faculty member covers the general topics and provides related sample problems. There are multiple recitation sections operated by the same instructor, consisting of typically 15-20 students, in which students review their lecture notes and solve selected problems. These problems are typically selected from the homework assignments; previous tests and quizzes; and from the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam review materials.
Recitation sections will also help students with non-traditional learning styles to more quickly understand the subject. This in turn will improve retention and result in much-improved course grades and improved FE exam scores for the students, thereby positively affecting the overall academic success of the college.
This paper contains summaries of some of the most recent observations on the role of recitation in increasing student retention and performance. In this investigation the following three core engineering courses are used: Statics for architectural, civil, and mechanical engineering students (CAAE331/MEEN335); Dynamics for architectural, civil, and mechanical engineering students (CAAE 334/MEEN 337), and strength of materials for civil and mechanical engineering students (CAAE332/MEEN336).
In college classes, lectures are still the primary mode of content delivery to students. The disadvantages of such methods are: (1) students cannot remember all of the lecture material; (2) students typically record only 20-40% of the important lecture ideas; (3) approximately 80% of what is not noted is forgotten after two weeks; (4) lecturing technique is a one-way teaching process (students receive information delivered by faculty). On the other hand, recitation (usually, small class size), allows instructors to become more familiar with their students' strengths, learning styles, and problem areas. It also gives teachers enough time to work more efficiently with students who need extra help. By having smaller classes, teachers are better able to get to know their students, and to develop strategies for helping them succeed by providing more learning options. Research has shown that classes with fewer than 20 students can improve student academic achievement and are particularly beneficial for disadvantaged students (U.S. Department of Education, 1999). Recitation sessions may be considered as diagnostic assessments that help instructors develop early intervention strategies and turn, to stop
Saad, M., & Abu-Lebdeh, T., & Pai, D., & Waters, C. (2007, June), Recitation In Core Engineering Mechanics Courses: Implications For Retention And Student Performance Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. 10.18260/1-2--2889
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