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The Effects of Multilevel Examples

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Thermodynamics, Fluids and Heat Transfer II

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

26.1526.1 - 26.1526.9



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Paper Authors


Austin W. Burrus University of Oklahoma

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As an undergraduate, I have been given the opportunity for research and class room experience. I will go to graduate school for complex systems engineering in order to begin a track to a professorship.

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Diana Bairaktarova University of Oklahoma

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Dr. Diana Bairaktarova is an Assistant Professor of Engineering Practice in the College of Engineering at University of Oklahoma. Through real-world engineering applications, Dr. Bairaktarova’s experiential learning research spans from engineering to psychology to learning sciences, as she uncovers how individual performance is influenced by aptitudes, spatial skills, personal interests and direct manipulation of mechanical objects.

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The Effects of Multilevel Examples in Engineering In engineering courses taught by traditional methods, the education process involves a single levelapproach to each topic; the professor attempts to offer the method that helps the greatest number of students. Whenwe look at the Bloom Taxonomy Pyramid, however, both require that a student needs to go through multiplemethods to master a topic. This is achieved by the student through note-taking methods, flash cards, study groups,internships, research, and various opportunities around the campus. Nevertheless, students still struggle withlearning fundamental material in engineering because they do not understand that they need to diversify theirmethods of learning. This can result in little return with a higher effort on part of the student. Different pedagogical approaches with the use of multilevel examples in the classroom can help scaleBloom’s pyramid and the multitude of different levels, such as memorization, understanding, and creating. Thisapproach utilizes a similar scale as levels of testing questions with three different types of questions focusing on: 1).concept, 2). application, and 3). intuition. For example, the first type - conceptual problems will rarely havenumbers, but they will force the student to either memorize or understand a new concept, satisfying the first twolevels of Bloom’s taxonomy. The second type - application problems will use the problems that students wouldnormally see on homework where the conceptual ideas are applied to real life problems. These examples willsatisfy the third and fourth levels, applying and analyzing. The third type - examples requiring an intuitive leap to anew concept from the concept recently learned are the most conceptually difficult for students, but exemplifymastery of a subject while finalizing the capstone and creating levels of Bloom’s pyramid. In this study, seventy five students enrolled in a Thermodynamics course in a Midwest university are theparticipants. In correlation with the flipped classroom, students have been asked to work examples in groups whilein class. At the end of class, a copy of their work is submitted to be analyzed. Students are given the three types ofexamples and asked to solve each of them. The number of groups that answer correctly correlates to the rate ofunderstanding for each concept. At the end of the semester, the students will be tested on the concepts where theywere taught using the multilevel examples in order to measuring the rate of learning. Also, the students will take aMechanical Aptitude test to test for correlation between mechanical insight and the correctly design/solved intuitivequestions. Qualitative data is collected from the work shown to assist in reducing unintentional difficulties forfuture examples. This study will be completed at the conclusion of the Fall 2014 semester. Findings andapplications for engineering instruction will be shared in the draft paper.

Burrus, A. W., & Bairaktarova, D. (2015, June), The Effects of Multilevel Examples Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.24864

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