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The Affordance of Computer-Supportive Collaborative Learning in a Dynamics Course

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Conference

2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual Conference

Publication Date

July 26, 2021

Start Date

July 26, 2021

End Date

July 19, 2022

Conference Session

Using Technology to Support Learning in Mechanics

Tagged Division

Mechanics

Page Count

19

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/37835

Download Count

82

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Paper Authors

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Yonghee Lee Purdue University at West Lafayette

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Postdoctoral Associate at Purdue University

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Jennifer DeBoer Purdue University at West Lafayette (COE)

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Jennifer DeBoer is currently Assistant Professor of Engineering Education at Purdue University. Her research focuses on international education systems, individual and social development, technology use and STEM learning, and educational environments for diverse learners.

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Jeffrey F. Rhoads Purdue University at West Lafayette (COE)

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Jeffrey F. (Jeff) Rhoads is a Professor in the School of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University and serves as the Director of the Ray W. Herrick Laboratories and the Director of Practice for MEERCat Purdue: The Mechanical Engineering Education Research Center at the same institution. He previously served as the Associate Director of PERC: The Purdue Energetics Research Center. Dr. Rhoads received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees, each in mechanical engineering, from Michigan State University in 2002, 2004, and 2007, respectively. Dr. Rhoads’ current research interests include the predictive design, analysis, and implementation of resonant micro/nanoelectromechanical systems (MEMS/NEMS) for use in chemical and biological sensing, electromechanical signal processing, and computing; the thermomechanics of energetic materials (including explosives, pyrotechnics, and propellants); additive manufacturing; and mechanics education. Dr. Rhoads is a Member of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) and a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), where he serves on the Design Engineering Division’s Technical Committee on Vibration and Sound. Dr. Rhoads is a recipient of numerous research and teaching awards, including the National Science Foundation’s Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award; the Purdue University School of Mechanical Engineering’s Harry L. Solberg Best Teacher Award (three times), Robert W. Fox Outstanding Instructor Award, B.F.S. Schaefer Outstanding Young Faculty Scholar Award, Charles B. Murphy Award, and Ruth and Joel Spira Award; the ASEE Mechanics Division’s Ferdinand P. Beer and E. Russell Johnston, Jr. Outstanding New Mechanics Educator Award; and the ASME C. D. Mote Jr., Early Career Award. In 2014, Dr. Rhoads was included in ASEE Prism Magazine’s 20 Under 40. To date, he has authored more than 125 peer reviewed journal and conference publications and with his colleagues has conduct more than $47M in sponsored research with industry, the National Science Foundation, and the United States Departments of Defense, Energy, and Homeland Security. Dr. Rhoads also serves as the Chief Operating Officer of two start-up entities: Level 6 Engineering LLC and Next Offset Solutions, Inc.

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Edward J. Berger Purdue University at West Lafayette (COE) Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-0337-7607

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Edward Berger is a Professor of Engineering Education and Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University, joining Purdue in August 2014. He has been teaching mechanics for over 20 years, and has worked extensively on the integration and assessment of specific technology interventions in mechanics classes. He was one of the co-leaders in 2013-2014 of the ASEE Virtual Community of Practice (VCP) for mechanics educators across the country, as well as a former NSF program officer (2019-2020). His current research focuses on student problem-solving processes and use of worked examples, change models and evidence-based teaching practices in engineering curricula, and the role of non-cognitive and affective factors in student academic outcomes and overall success.

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Abstract

Over the past two decades, educators have used computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL) to integrate technology with pedagogy to improve student engagement and learning outcomes. Researchers have also explored the diverse affordances of CSCL, its contributions to engineering instruction, and its effectiveness in K-12 STEM education. However, the question of how students use CSCL resources in undergraduate engineering classrooms remains largely unexplored. This study examines the affordances of a CSCL environment utilized in a sophomore dynamics course with particular attention given to the undergraduate engineering students’ use of various CSCL resources. The resources include a course lecturebook, instructor office hours, a teaching assistant help room, online discussion board, peer collaboration, and demonstration videos. This qualitative study uses semi-structured interview data collected from nine mechanical engineering students (four women and five men) who were enrolled in a dynamics course at a large public research university in Eastern Canada. The interviews focused on the individual student’s perceptions of the school, faculty, students, engineering courses, and implemented CSCL learning environment. The thematic analysis was conducted to analyze the transcribed interviews using a qualitative data analysis software (Nvivo). The analysis followed a six step process: (1) reading interview transcripts multiple times and preliminary in vivo codes; (2) conducting open coding by coding interesting or salient features of the data; (3) collecting codes and searching for themes; (4) reviewing themes and creating a thematic map; (5) finalizing themes and their definitions; and (6) compiling findings. This study found that the students’ use of CSCL resources varied depending on the students’ personal preferences, as well as their perceptions of the given resource’s value and its potential to enhance their learning. For example, the dynamics lecturebook, which had been redesigned to encourage problem solving and note-taking, fostered student collaborative problem solving with their peers. In contrast, the professor’s example video solutions had much more of an influence on students’ independent problem-solving processes. The least frequently used resource was the course’s online discussion forum, which could be used as a means of communication. The findings reveal how computer-supported collaborative learning (CSCL) environments enable engineering students to engage in multiple learning opportunities with diverse and flexible resources to both address and to clarify their personal learning needs. This study strongly recommends engineering instructors adapt a CSCL environment for implementation in their own unique classroom context.

Lee, Y., & DeBoer, J., & Rhoads, J. F., & Berger, E. J. (2021, July), The Affordance of Computer-Supportive Collaborative Learning in a Dynamics Course Paper presented at 2021 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual Conference. https://peer.asee.org/37835

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