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Remodeling Instructional Materials for More Effective Learning in Introductory Materials Classes

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2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012



Conference Session

NSF Grantees' Poster Session

Tagged Topic

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

25.1114.1 - 25.1114.18



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Paper Authors


Stephen J. Krause Arizona State University

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Stephen J. Krause is professor in the School of Materials in the Fulton School of Engineering at Arizona State University. He teaches in the areas of bridging engineering and education, capstone design, and introductory materials engineering. His research interests are evaluating conceptual knowledge, misconceptions and their repair, and conceptual change. He has co-developed a Materials Concept Inventory for assessing conceptual knowledge of students in introductory materials engineering classes. He is currently conducting research on misconceptions and development of strategies and tools to promote conceptual change in materials courses.

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Jacquelyn E. Kelly Arizona State University


Dale R. Baker Arizona State University

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Dale Baker is a professor of science education and the former editor of the Journal of Research in Science Teaching. She is a Fellow of the American Educational Research Association and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Her research interests are engineering education, equity issues in STEM, and teacher professional development.

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Remodeling Instructional Materials for more Effective Conceptual Change in the Progression of Student Learning in an Introductory MaterialsStudents have prior knowledge about how the world works, including preconceptions andmisconceptions. For more effective learning, instructional materials and activities need to berestructured/remodeled to address such issues as informed by assessment of prior knowledge. Inparticular, we have explored and examined materials with regard to topics of language andoperational definitions, types of graphical representations, real world applications, and explicitdiscussion of micro-macro scale connections for the topic of atomic bonding. In engineeringeducation, instruction must build on students' knowledge of scientific phenomena and be directedtoward its use in engineering applications. In this research, teaching and learning materials andactivities have been remodeled by use of feedback from assessment results on a regular basis inorder to progressively enhance conceptual change for more effective learning. Here, we report onthe research question, "How can instructional materials be modified and adjusted to promoteconceptual change by using formative and summative assessment in an introductory materialsclass?" A socio-constructivist pedagogy with learning by conceptual change frames thediscussion and analysis of results of this research-to-practice teaching and learning paper.Information from a materials concept inventory (MCI), pre-post topic concept quizzes, teamactivities, classroom dialogue and homework were used to remodel class notes and activities. Topromote conceptual change we use analogical reasoning and cognitive dissonance learning toolsthat are integrated in class notes and team activities. Incorporating hard data in "explain andpredict activities" forces students to address anomalies in their mental models and revise andremodel their conceptual frameworks. We have found increasing gains in pre-post topic conceptquizzes, the MCI, and topic related exam scores for hourly tests. The effect of the approachesapplied here to promote more effective conceptual change are discussed in terms of remodelingof instructional materials, activities, and tools in the classroom. These changes will be presentedand discussed in detail in the paper with the goal of illustrating possible general approaches toimproving student performance.

Krause, S. J., & Kelly, J. E., & Baker, D. R. (2012, June), Remodeling Instructional Materials for More Effective Learning in Introductory Materials Classes Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--21871

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