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So You Think You Know Dynamics?

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.880.1 - 6.880.4

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Nels Madsen Auburn University

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1668

So You Think You Know Dynamics?

Nels Madsen Auburn University

Extended Abstract

This interactive presentation will explore undergraduate dynamics. The objective of this presentation is to encourage you to take a fresh look at undergraduate dynamics and mechanics. Hearing this presentation just might change your paradigm! Keep reading this abstract until you are convinced you should attend the session. The less you know about the session, the more fun it will be. However if you need to know more, read on!

The anticipated topics include: fundamentals; precision; appropriate EC2000 outcomes; communication; instructional methodologies; collaborative learning; and teamwork. The anticipated outcome of the presentation is an audience encouraged to take a fresh look at undergraduate engineering courses in general, and dynamics in particular. This presentation is not recommended for those unwilling to get into a vigorous discussion, perhaps even an argument!

I have attended the annual conference for many years. Each year I find the conference stimulating, exciting, and useful. However one thing gets my goat every year. In presentation after presentation we hear how lecturing is the least effective instructional mode, and how important it is to encourage collaborative learning and student involvement, and working at higher levels within Bloom’s taxonomy. And what do we get in the conference itself? Lecture presentation after lecture presentation with perhaps a few minutes for questions at the end. If this is really the worst way to encourage learning, then why do we keep doing it at the conference? And if we are doing it at the conference, isn’t it likely that our reliance on the lecture mode of instruction is heavier than it should be when we return to our home campuses? This led me to conclude that it is imperative to demonstrate that alternative approaches to instruction can work, even at the ASEE Annual Conference. I believe that a highly interactive, collaborative learning environment requiring audience participation and thought can work at our conference. I propose to demonstrate just how it can be made to work. By doing so I hope to stimulate thought on some important issues in engineering education and simultaneously emulate styles and methods that the audience can apply on their own campuses. Big talk, right, but can I back up these claims? Come to the presentation and find out! Don’t read any more of this abstract unless you are still not convinced to come to the presentation.

I propose to begin the session with a brief description of an engineering situation involving dynamics (if I told you the situation now it would take all of the fun out of it when the session arrives). I will describe certain occurrences or experiences that are a part of that situation. Then I will ask the audience to break into small groups (2, 3, or 4) and develop as a group an explanation of the occurrences or experiences. Their explanation needs to be technically correct, Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2001, American Society for Engineering Education

Madsen, N. (2001, June), So You Think You Know Dynamics? Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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