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Structuring Student Success: Incorporating a Genre-based Pedagogical Method to Improve a Strength of Materials Laboratory Manual

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


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Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Alternative Methods of Teaching and Learning Mechanics

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Paper Authors


Eleazar Marquez Rice University

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Eleazar Marquez is an Assistant Teaching Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Rice University.

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Samuel Garcia Jr. Texas State University

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Dr. Samuel García Jr. serves as a NASA Educator Professional Development Specialist at Kennedy Space Center and Assistant Professor of Practice for the LBJ Institute for Education and Research at Texas State University.

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In this research study the authors incorporated a pedagogical technique to improve a strength of materials lab manual. The conceptualization and subsequent development of a student friendly lab manual resource emerged from students’ difficulty in understanding the following areas: introduction to experiment, procedures, calculations, and relevancy to class content. Based on a survey conducted before lab manual improvements and modifications, mechanical engineering students expressed high dissatisfaction with the written structure of the manual and felt they spent too much time understanding lab procedures, deciphering what equations to utilize to complete their analyzes, and completing the report. As such, the authors structured the new manual into three, step-by-step segments to improve the efficacy of the lab and decrease the amount of time spent in a one-hour credited lab: (1) Objective, (2) What to Include in Lab Report, and (3) Procedures and Calculation. The improved manual also included incorporating technical analyses that were related to the strength of materials course. As such, a survey was conducted with a cohort of 43 students to gauge responses and further understand their perspectives regarding the modified lab manual. Results indicate that the sections of the improved manual were clear and easy to follow, made an excellent job correlating the course and lab material, and reduced the time to complete the reports.

Marquez, E., & Garcia, S. (2020, June), Structuring Student Success: Incorporating a Genre-based Pedagogical Method to Improve a Strength of Materials Laboratory Manual Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35217

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