June 22, 2008
June 22, 2008
June 25, 2008
13.1111.1 - 13.1111.11
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.
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
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