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Transforming a Dynamics Course to an Active, Blended, and Collaborative Format: Focus on the Faculty

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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

Statics and Dynamics in Mechanical Engineering

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

Page Count

27

DOI

10.18260/p.27075

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/27075

Download Count

91

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Paper Authors

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Jennifer DeBoer Purdue University, West Lafayette

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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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Maria J. Gerschutz Trine University

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After earning her doctorate from Wright State University, Dr. Gerschutz spent five years working for WillowWood, a lower-limb prosthetic company, leading efforts in research and assisting product development and testing. As part of her term at WillowWood, she was a two time recipient of the prestigious Thranhardt Award for Prosthetic Research
Dr. Gerschutz passion for teaching has drawn her away from industry towards the academic setting, but has left her enthusiasm for bettering the lives of others. She is currently the Chair of the Biomedical Engineering Department at Trine University. Her focus areas of teaching include introduction to biomedical engineering, biomaterials, bioinstrumentation and dynamics.

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David A. Evenhouse Purdue University

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David Evenhouse is a Graduate Student and Research Assistant in the Purdue School of Engineering Education. He graduated from Calvin College in the Spring of 2015 with a B.S.E. concentrating in Mechanical Engineering. Experiences during his undergraduate years included a semester in Spain, taking classes at the Universidad de Oviedo and the Escuela Politécnica de Ingenieria de Gijón, as well as multiple internships in Manufacturing and Quality Engineering. His current work primarily investigates the effects of select emergent pedagogies upon student and instructor performance and experience at the collegiate level. Other interests include engineering ethics, engineering philosophy, and the intersecting concerns of engineering industry and higher academia.

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Nimit Patel National Science Foundation

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Research Assistant, Discover Learning Research Center (DLRC)

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Edward J. Berger Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Edward Berger is an Associate Professor of Engineering Education and Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University, joining Purdue in August 2014. He has been teaching mechanics for nearly 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.

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Nick Stites Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Nick Stites is pursuing a PhD in Engineering Education at Purdue University. His research interests include the development of novel pedagogical methods to teach core engineering courses and leveraging technology to enhance learning experiences. Nick holds a BS and MS in Mechanical Engineering and has eight years of engineering experience. He also has four years of experience as an adjunct instructor at the community-college and research-university level.

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Craig Zywicki Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Craig is a Assessment & Data Analyst in the Office of Institutional Research, Assessment, and Effectiveness at Purdue University.

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David B. Nelson Purdue University, West Lafayette

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David B. Nelson is Associate Director of the Center for Instructional Excellence at Purdue University. He received his Ph.D in World History from the University of California, Irvine in 2008.

David has been involved in many educational research projects at Purdue, including published worked in the programming education, student engagement and academic performance in dynamics engineering courses, and educational modalities in engineering, technology and economics.

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Charles Morton Krousgrill Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Charles M. Krousgrill is a Professor in the School of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University and is affiliated with the Ray W. Herrick Laboratories at the same institution. He received his B.S.M.E. from Purdue University and received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Applied Mechanics from Caltech. Dr. Krousgrill’s current research interests include the vibration, nonlinear dynamics, friction-induced oscillations, gear rattle vibrations, dynamics of clutch and brake systems and damage detection in rotor systems. Dr. Krousgrill is a member of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE). He has received the H.L. Solberg Teaching Award (Purdue ME) seven times, A.A. Potter Teaching Award (Purdue Engineering) three times, the Charles B. Murphy Teaching Award (Purdue University), Purdue’s Help Students Learn Award, the Special Boilermaker Award (given here for contributions to undergraduate education) and is the 2011 recipient of the ASEE Mechanics Division’s Archie Higdon Distinguished Educator Award.

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Jeffrey F. Rhoads Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Jeffrey F. (Jeff) Rhoads is an Associate Professor in the School of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University and is affiliated with both the Birck Nanotechnology Center and Ray W. Herrick Laboratories at the same institution. He 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 dynamics of parametrically-excited systems and coupled oscillators; the behavior of electromechanical and thermomechanical systems, including energetic materials, operating in rich, multi-physics environments; and mechanics education. Dr. Rhoads is a member of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), where he serves on the Design, Materials and Manufacturing Segment Leadership Team and the Design Engineering Division’s Technical Committees on Micro/Nanosystems and Vibration and Sound. Dr. Rhoads is a recipient of 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 (twice), and the ASEE Mechanics Division’s Ferdinand P. Beer and E. Russell Johnston, Jr. Outstanding New Mechanics Educator Award. In 2014, Dr. Rhoads was selected as the inaugural recipient of the ASME C. D. Mote Jr., Early Career Award and was featured in ASEE Prism Magazine’s 20 Under 40.

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Abstract

Mechanical engineering programs are increasingly applying educational research by transforming courses to be more interactive and to use a blend of online and face-to-face materials. However, the process of an existing course adopting these new practices is not well studied, and even less is understood about the faculty experience from on-boarding to delivery of a new curriculum or pedagogy. In this study, we follow the translation of an active, blended, and collaborative (ABC) curriculum for a core dynamics course from a large public university (where the ABC curriculum was developed) to a small private university. We use interpretive phenomenology to focus on the lived experience of the instructor newly implementing these course materials, format, and pedagogical approach. Specifically, we address the following research questions: (1) What is the lived experience of a mechanical engineering instructor at a different institution as she adopts and adapts the provided materials and format? (2) How does the experience of this instructor evolve throughout the semester? We use rich qualitative data to understand the experience of the instructor, who taught this course in its prior format and, in Fall 2015, taught the “off-term” core dynamics course via the new ABC structure. Through weekly reflection prompts, pre- and post-semester interviews, and supplementary process data (e.g., notes of weekly meetings between the new implementer and ABC team at the large public university), we describe and characterize the multi-faceted instructor experience. This includes her experience learning about the curriculum and online tools, implementing the class and adjusting her teaching practices, and assessing her students’ engagement with the course and understanding of dynamics concepts. Our findings suggest further areas of inquiry for studies of faculty practices around curriculum adoption, including probing opportunities for cross-institutional collaborations to share materials and transform courses, interrogating variation in mechanical engineering department and student cultures, and studying sources of faculty development and support throughout the course transformation process.

DeBoer, J., & Gerschutz, M. J., & Evenhouse, D. A., & Patel, N., & Berger, E. J., & Stites, N., & Zywicki, C., & Nelson, D. B., & Krousgrill, C. M., & Rhoads, J. F. (2016, June), Transforming a Dynamics Course to an Active, Blended, and Collaborative Format: Focus on the Faculty Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.27075

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