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Teaching Statics Using Agile Methodologies

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Enhancing the Statics Classroom

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Anna K.T. Howard North Carolina State University Orcid 16x16

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Anna Howard is a Teaching Associate Professor at NC State University in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering where she has led the course redesign effort for Engineering Statics. She received her Ph.D. from the Rotorcraft Center of Excellence at Penn State University in 2001.

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Statics in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department is taught as a flipped class, a format which works well for the majority but not the totality of students. Agile methodologies such as Scrum have shown good results for improving time management and communication in the workplace. A small pilot class (10 students) was taught using agile methods with the goals of teaching students to work effectively in teams, to manage their time effectively, and to take ownership of their learning. The first two midterms for students in the pilot section were lower than those in the flipped sections but not outside of the standard deviation of the flipped sections. These early grades and student surveys led to abandoning the stand-ups for the pilot class to be more like the flipped class. Future work will need to focus on better training for the students and the professors. Students enjoyed the Scrum class more than they did the less innovative second half of the semester. Overall, this small pilot showed some promise as a way of teaching mechanical engineering with greater student ownership of learning. Agile methodologies hold considerable promise especially for higher-level classes such as mechanical senior design.

Howard, A. K. (2018, June), Teaching Statics Using Agile Methodologies Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--31063

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