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Teaching Statics "Dynamically""

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1999 Annual Conference


Charlotte, North Carolina

Publication Date

June 20, 1999

Start Date

June 20, 1999

End Date

June 23, 1999



Page Count


Page Numbers

4.490.1 - 4.490.10



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Paper Authors

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Scott Danielson

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Sudhir Mehta

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Session 1368

Teaching Statics “Dynamically”

Sudhir Mehta and Scott Danielson North Dakota State University


This paper describes teaching strategies based on advances and educational practices proven to enhance student learning in undergraduate education. These strategies were implemented in three statics classes with varying enrollments (50 to 175 students). Meta-analysis of student feedback by their cumulative GPA provides insight into strategies deemed helpful by students. The results from three sections of statics are compared. Over 95% of the students rate overall learning in the statics class as either “very good” or “good” as compared to other classes.


Patricia Cross, a leading educator, recently indicated in her keynote address at the American Association of Higher Education’s (AAHE’s) 1998 National Conference that, “We have more information about learning available to us than ever before in the history of the world.” Herbert Simon, a Nobel Laureate, in his plenary session at the 1997 Frontiers in Education Conference said, “Knowledge about human learning processes has developed to the point where we can do better.” Smith and Waller (1997)19, in their summary about effective teaching and learning, succinctly compare old and new paradigms for college teaching (Table 1). Current literature, including NSF’s report “Shaping the Future” (1996)15, continue to urge the use of new paradigms to improve student learning.

We believe active-cooperative learning (ACL), classroom assessment techniques and technology are cornerstones of the shift to these new paradigms for enhancing student learning. Nearly 600 experimental and over 100 correlational studies have been conducted on the effectiveness of ACL. A meta analysis indicates that ACL results in higher academic achievement (“knowledge acquisition, retention, accuracy, creativity in problem-solving, and higher level reasoning”), helps students develop more caring and supportive relationships, and contributes to greater psychological health and self esteem (Johnson, et. al., 1998, p. 31-32)8.

Classroom assessment techniques (CATs) are used for monitoring and enhancing learning. Angelo and Cross (1993)1 indicate that the primary purpose of teaching is to improve student learning. We often assume that our students are learning what we teach them, however, upon grading tests, we realize that students have not learned. Faculty and students need to monitor learning on a continuous basis provide additional learning opportunities if necessary.

Danielson, S., & Mehta, S. (1999, June), Teaching Statics "Dynamically"" Paper presented at 1999 Annual Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina. 10.18260/1-2--7975

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