June 22, 2008
June 22, 2008
June 25, 2008
13.1110.1 - 13.1110.6
Student Performance and Faculty Development in SCALE-UP Engineering Mechanics and Math Courses
Our research team is in their second year of implementing active and cooperative learning in second-year engineering mechanics and math courses using the Student-Centered Activities for Large Enrollment Undergraduate Programs (SCALE-UP) model. With this approach, large studio classes are taught with an emphasis on learning by guided inquiry instead of standard listening and note taking by students. The project focuses on the development and delivery of instructional material and documentation of student comprehension, performance and perceptions in Statics, Dynamics, and Multivariate Calculus courses at Clemson University. The project is also examining the benefit of integrating the content of the two traditional sequential engineering mechanics courses (Statics and Dynamics), and the parallel content in Multivariate Calculus. The research team is tracking student grades in these courses and follow-up courses, and performance on the Statics, Dynamics, and Force Concept Inventories for students in Statics taught in a traditional format, students in Statics taught in a SCALE-UP format, and students in multiple sections of integrated Statics and Dynamics taught in a SCALE-UP format. The team is also addressing the professional development needs of instructors and student learning assistants to effectively deliver student-centered course materials and in-class assessment of student understanding.
Teaching in a student-centered environment alters the instructor’s role in the classroom from orator to more of a facilitator and coach. This new approach to teaching, Student Centered Active Learning Environment for Undergraduate Programs (SCALE-UP), was developed to teach Physics at North Carolina State University1, and the researchers at our institution are among the first to promote the use of this method in engineering mechanics and math courses.
Background and Methods
The primary goal of this project is to deliver more effective Statics and Dynamics instruction to students at Clemson University. We have developed and delivered cooperative learning activities that are delivered using the SCALE-UP model, teaching large studio classes of up to 70 students. We have revised the present lecture approach to these topics and the integration of the content of the two sequential courses according to the needs of students in our mechanical engineering program.
All sections of SCALE-UP Statics and Integrated Statics/Dynamics were offered in a 1700 square foot SCALE-UP classroom space created and equipped for instruction and learning in the SCALE-UP mode. The space includes eight 7-foot round tables that can seat up to 9 students each (two or three teams per table). The tables have power and wired-internet to facilitate laptop use. Instructor space includes a Sympodium linked to dual projectors. White boards for instructor and student use occupy two opposing walls.
Benson, L., & Moss, W., & Biggers, S., & Schiff, S., & Orr, M., & Ohland, M. (2008, June), Student Performance And Faculty Development In Scale Up Engineering Mechanics And Math Courses Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3817
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