Asee peer logo

Student Study Habits And Their Effectiveness In An Integrated Statics And Dynamics Class

Download Paper |


2008 Annual Conference & Exposition


Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Publication Date

June 22, 2008

Start Date

June 22, 2008

End Date

June 25, 2008



Conference Session

Statics and Dynamics: What's New?

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

13.1111.1 - 13.1111.11



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors


Marisa Orr Clemson University Orcid 16x16

visit author page

Marisa K. Orr is a Ph.D. student at Clemson University. She received her B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Clemson in 2005. She is an Endowed Teaching Fellow and co-chair of the Mechanical Engineering Graduate Student Advisory Committee. In her research, she is studying Engineering Mechanics Education and Terramechanics.

visit author page


Lisa Benson Clemson University

visit author page

Lisa C. Benson is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Engineering and Science Education, with a joint appointment in the Department of Bioengineering, at Clemson University. Her research areas include engineering education and musculoskeletal biomechanics. Education research includes the use of active learning in undergraduate engineering courses, undergraduate research experiences, and service learning in engineering and science education. Her education includes a B.S. in Bioengineering from the University of Vermont, and M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Bioengineering from Clemson University.

visit author page


Matthew Ohland Purdue Engineering Education Orcid 16x16

visit author page

Matthew W. Ohland is an Associate Professor and Director of First-Year Engineering in the School of Engineering Education at Purdue University and is the Past President of Tau Beta Pi, the engineering honor society. He received his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering with a minor in Education from the University of Florida in 1996. Previously, he served as Assistant Director of the NSF-sponsored SUCCEED Engineering Education Coalition. In addition to this work, he studies peer evaluation and longitudinal student records in engineering education.

visit author page


Sherrill Biggers Clemson University

visit author page

Sherrill B. Biggers is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Clemson University. His research interests include computational solid mechanics, progressive failure and nonlinear response of composite structures, and optimum design. He has taught courses in structural and solid mechanics, and finite element methods. He received his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Duke University, and has been on the faculty at Clemson since 1989, after 8 years on the faculty at the University of Kentucky and 11 years in the aerospace industry. He is an associate fellow of AIAA and a registered Professional Engineer (PE).

visit author page

Download Paper |

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

Student Study Habits and their Effectiveness in an Integrated Statics and Dynamics Class


Integrated Statics and Dynamics is a required five-credit course that was offered for Mechanical Engineering students at Clemson University for the first time in Fall 2006. The large-enrollment course was taught using innovative active learning techniques and new course materials. To aid in the development of the course, 211 students were asked to self-report their study habits in an 8 question survey. A cluster analysis was used to identify three study habit profiles. Knowing how students allocate their time and the effectiveness of their strategies can promote more effective guidance for students who are struggling to learn the material while managing their time, and could drive course design with proper emphasis on each aspect of coursework.

I. Introduction and Background

In Fall 2006, an active-learning approach modeled after Beichner and colleagues’ SCALE-UP method1 was implemented at our institution to teach sophomore Mechanical Engineering students statics and dynamics in one integrated course. A cluster analysis of survey data allowed us to identify three patterns of study among the students; minimalist, help seeker, and SI dependent. The goal of this exploratory research is to identify study habit profiles in order to support course development and create plausible hypotheses for further research into pedagogical innovations.

Course Description

Integrated Statics and Dynamics is a required five-credit course required for Mechanical Engineering students at Clemson University. The large-enrollment course is taught using innovative active learning techniques1,2 and new course materials3. The class meets for nearly six hours a week in a studio-style classroom with 7-foot-diameter round tables seating up to nine students. Lecture time has been transformed into studio time that allows students to work on learning exercises together in class while the instructor and several learning assistants are present to guide them. Statics is taught as a special case of dynamics. Within the first week, students are analyzing the dynamics of lifting.

Because Statics and Dynamics courses historically have high DFW rates (percentage of students receiving a grade of D or F or withdrawing from the course), the Academic Success Center provides Supplemental Instruction (SI) for these classes. A traditional class would have one undergraduate SI leader who would attend all classes and then facilitate study sessions several nights a week. Often theses sessions consist of the SI leader helping the students work through their homework. Because Integrated Statics and Dynamics is a large enrollment class that meets more frequently than traditional classes, the SI system had to be modified to ease the load of the SI leaders. Multiple SI leaders served as learning assistants in each class, and a joint session was held for all three sections several nights a week. This resulted in smaller time commitments for the SI leaders, but very large SI sessions.

Orr, M., & Benson, L., & Ohland, M., & Biggers, S. (2008, June), Student Study Habits And Their Effectiveness In An Integrated Statics And Dynamics Class Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. 10.18260/1-2--3838

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2008 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015