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Successes and Challenges in the Implementation and Running of the First ME-Practice Class in the 2nd Undergraduate Year as Part of a Curriculum Revision

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Conference

2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016

ISBN

978-0-692-68565-5

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Mechanical Engineering Division Poster Session

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

18

DOI

10.18260/p.25955

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/25955

Download Count

41

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Paper Authors

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Paul J. van Susante Michigan Technological University

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Dr. van Susante is a senior lecturer at Michigan Technological University. He received his BSc and MSc in Civil Engineering from Delft University of Technology followed by a MSc and PhD in Engineering Systems (Civil, Mechanical and Electrical Engineering hybrid) from the Colorado School of Mines. He started at Michigan Technological University in Fall 2012 as a lecturer in Mechanical Engineering and has been focused on teaching junior and senior engineering design classes as well as educational and curriculum development. He is coordinator of the first new ME-Practice course in the revised Mechanical Engineering curriculum and faculty advisor of the Mining INnovation Enterprise.

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biography

Nancy B. Barr Michigan Technological University

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As the Communications and Senior Design Program Advisor, Barr developed a multi-faceted technical communications program in the Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics Department at MTU. She delivers embedded communication instruction to undergraduate students, teaches to graduate engineering communication courses, assists faculty in crafting critical thinking/communication assignments, and trains GTAs and faculty in best practices in evaluating student communication. She has a PhD in Rhetoric, Theory, and Culture, with a focus on Writing Program Administration in STEM and is the author of three mystery novels.

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Jason Blough Michigan Technological University

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Dr. Blough is an Associate Professor in Mechanical Engineering at Michigan Technological University. Dr. Blough has over 8 years of full time professional experience as well as considerable consulting experience. Dr. Blough's research interests include digital signal processing, dynamic measurements, and noise and vibrations related topics. Dr. Blough has over 80 technical publications on a broad range of topics. Dr. Blough is also the SAE Clean Snowmobile Advisor and SAE Student Chapter Advisor at MTU.

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James P. De Clerck Michigan Technological University

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After an 18 year career in the automotive industry, Dr. De Clerck joined the Michigan Tech Department of Mechanical Engineering - Engineering Mechanics in August 2009. His areas of expertise include noise and vibration, structural dynamics, design, modal analysis, model validation, inverse methods applied to design, and advanced measurement techniques.

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Michele Miller Michigan Technological University

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Dr. Michele Miller is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Michigan Technological University. She teaches classes on manufacturing and does research in engineering education with particular interest in hands-on ability, lifelong learning, and project-based learning.

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Ibrahim Miskioglu Michigan Technological University

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Gregory M. Odegard Michigan Technological University

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Abstract

In an effort to modernize our curriculum and the skills taught to our Mechanical Engineering students a curriculum revision process was started in 2010 and the first new courses were implemented in Fall 2014. The class has been taught successfully in Fall 2014, Spring and Summer 2015 semesters. This paper will describe the success and challenges in implementation and running of the first of four ME-Practice classes replacing all traditional lab classes as part of a curriculum revision. The real course content planning started in Summer 2013 with the finalization of the detailed definition of learning goals and identification of possible practice session experiments (not labs) that would tie the learning goals together as much as possible. Software packages were chosen and coordinated for use in the curriculum to minimize the students having to learn more software packages than needed. For the two credit class, 13 weeks of materials were created which covers the topics of safety training and writing instruction, data acquisition, reverse engineering of a consumer product and manufacturing techniques, tension and bending testing to determine material properties, multi-domain system modeling software and application in an elevator system test and model validation, introduction to control systems, Finite element modeling of truss structures, a bridge experiment, design of a new truss element given engineering requirements and 3D printing and testing of the new truss element, concluding with learning about G-code for lathes and manufacturing of an aluminum chess piece. Supplies were ordered and user manuals as well as practice session instructions were written.

The assignments, quizzes and practice sessions were then designed to mimic real world scenarios and the weekly deliverables in the form of individual or group reports to a supervisor within the context of the scenario (e.g. you are an engineer working for company x to reverse engineer a product of company y). The assignments were setup in such a way that each individual student learns each of the skills first and reports on them one week and then applies them to follow-up assignments in group setting the next week(s). Templates were constructed and grading rubrics implemented to coordinate and standardize all documents and grading. A course template with all documents and assignments was setup in a course management system to facilitate a uniform class delivery to all sections. In the Fall 2014 approximately 180 students took the course followed by approximately 120 in Spring 2015 and 9 in the summer 2015. In Fall 2015, 265 students are enrolled in the class. The student evaluations and feedback has overall been positive but the logistics has posed challenges related to the volume of students as well as teaching the old and new curriculum in parallel during the transition period. All challenges have been solved and continuous improvements are being made. Training of teaching assistants and faculty is ongoing to improve uniformity in grading and quality of feedback to the students.

van Susante, P. J., & Barr, N. B., & Blough, J., & De Clerck, J. P., & Miller, M., & Miskioglu, I., & Odegard, G. M. (2016, June), Successes and Challenges in the Implementation and Running of the First ME-Practice Class in the 2nd Undergraduate Year as Part of a Curriculum Revision Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.25955

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