June 14, 2009
June 14, 2009
June 17, 2009
14.1017.1 - 14.1017.10
Re-designing a Junior-Level Materials Processing Laboratory Course to Aid Students in Applying Theory to Practice
A junior-level materials engineering laboratory course has been re-designed to broaden the experiences of undergraduates in areas such as teaming and collaboration, written and oral communication skills, problem solving and the engineering design process. The re-design also incorporates more modern ceramic engineering processing methods. It is anticipated that the re- designed course will better prepare students to succeed; the premise being that providing such learning opportunities sooner and more often will improve student knowledge and confidence in applying theory to practice. This paper reports on the re-designed course and its effectiveness in meeting the learning outcomes.
The course is built on a prerequisite laboratory in which characterization methods were introduced through the evaluation of metals in a semester-long evaluation project. In the course under discussion, various processing methods were taught in the first few weeks, after which a seven-week design project based on one or more of these techniques was developed by teams consisting of three to five students. The problem presented to the students was to develop a project that illustrated the impact of processing on the properties of the materials. Teams were required to design both the technical and managerial aspects of the project. The teams were evaluated through the use of two written reports, periodic class presentations (evaluated by both the students and the instructor) and a final report prepared in the form of a journal paper. Student authors were given the opportunity to submit their manuscripts to the Journal of Undergraduate Materials Research (JUMR) for consideration. The assessment of individual student performance was in the form of quizzes, teammate assessment and class participation.
In addition to assessing the impacts on student learning and engagement for the re-designed course, this paper also reports on future plans to conduct follow-on research to assess the impacts the re-designed course may have on the senior year capstone design experience.
The beginning of the 2006 academic year marked the first semester of a re-design of the curriculum in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) at Virginia Tech to consolidate three individual laboratories into two. The original three courses focused on individual materials classifications (polymers, metals and ceramics) and the two new courses were to change the emphasis to characterization (second-semester sophomores) and processing (first-semester juniors) of materials. Laboratory courses demanded significant time investments by the students and faculty as well as the need to equip and maintain laboratories specific to the materials classifications. Additionally, while introductory courses existed in each of these materials categories, the laboratories were not tied directly to the core course materials. This fact allowed for a change to the laboratory courses without significant impact on the content or quality of the lecture courses.
Folz, D., & Burgoyne, C., & Terpenny, J., & Goff, R. (2009, June), Redesigning A Junior Level Materials Processing Laboratory Course To Aid Students In Applying Theory To Practice Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--4682
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