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Two Approaches to Concept Maps in Undergraduate Fluid Mechanics

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


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Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Mechanical Engineering Technical Session: Fluid Mechanics

Tagged Division

Mechanical Engineering

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Paper Authors


Julie Mendez Indiana University-Purdue University Columbus

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Julie Mendez is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Division of Mechanical Engineering at Indiana University-Purdue University Columbus. Her interests include active learning, online course development, and standards-based grading.

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Jessica Lofton University of Evansville

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Dr. Lofton is an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Evansville. She is the Director for the OPTIONS in Engineering summer camps for middle school and high school girls.

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In constructivist pedagogy, students create their own meaning of the course material. One way for students to represent connections between ideas is by creating a concept map. This paper describes different approaches to using concept maps as a study tool in undergraduate fluid mechanics courses at two different institutions. The two instructors worked together to create a concept map of the topics covered in the courses, which had similar learning outcomes and covered most of the same topics. The goal of creating this concept map was to provide the students with a visual representation of how the different topics were related. At the first institution, the instructor-created concept map was used primarily as a visual aid (“passive approach”). The instructor showed the map at regular intervals in class, where the map grew as students learned new material. At the second institution during the following semester, students were encouraged to create individual maps, which could be used as an aid during assessments (“active approach”). The instructor-created map was presented in class after allowing the students to develop their own maps. No significant differences in course performance were found compared with courses taught by the same instructors when concept maps were not used. Concept maps were found to be a useful tool for connecting and organizing course topics for both students and instructors.

Mendez, J., & Lofton, J. (2020, June), Two Approaches to Concept Maps in Undergraduate Fluid Mechanics Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35405

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