June 20, 2010
June 20, 2010
June 23, 2010
15.1307.1 - 15.1307.15
Use of Multimedia Case Studies in an Introductory Course in Mechanical Engineering
Many of the core concepts in engineering are complex andprecise. Hence, university students taking introductory classes in engineering, even those with high entry qualifications, often have difficulty learning these concepts and applying them to problem-solving tasks. This problem is more pronounced when the class size is large1. The National Academy of Engineering2 recommends that universities should address how students learn in addition to what they learn in order to ensure that student learning outcomes focus on the performance characteristics needed in future engineers. This paper addresses how case study–based instructional strategy has been used as an effective tool in an Introductory Course in Mechanical Engineering (ENGR 1110) at the freshman level to overcome these problems. This instructional strategy has been in use during the past three semesters at Auburn University, and the evaluation results show that the students involved obtained a thorough understanding of the engineering concepts and also improved their soft skills, including team working, communication, and ethical and problem solving skills. In-depth information about the evaluation results, course map and instructional strategy are provided in this paper.
Engineering curricula have experimented with multiple methodologies that expose students to real-world problems. There are also deep concerns about American international competitiveness, amid indications that the U.S. is doing a relatively poor job at retaining and training students in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines14. Too many talented students get the impression from introductory courses that engineering is simply a collection of facts to be memorized and consequently drop out with little understanding or appreciation of what science is all about3. Furthermore, the types of problems students often solve in classrooms using the traditional teaching approach do not necessarily prepare them for the real-world problems they will encounter as engineers. Real-world problems are complex and ill-structured, often have conflicting goals and no clear solution, and can be presented in a number of ways 4. Yadav et al.13 found that there was no significant difference between traditional lecture and case teaching method on improving students’ conceptual understanding of engineering subjects. However, the use of case studies made the content more relevant to the students by informing them about what engineers do
So in order to give students an opportunity to receive this much-needed exposure to real- world problems, an instructional strategy was developed. This strategy used real-world case studies developed by the Laboratory for Innovative Technology and Engineering Education (LITEE) at Auburn University. This paper discusses how these case studies have been used to (a) develop specific student capabilities and (b) help students learn certain engineering principles and apply them to solve problems occurring in real-world situations.
Manoharan, A. K., & Raju, P., & Sankar, C. (2010, June), Use Of Multimedia Case Studies In An Introductory Course In Mechanical Engineering Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16485
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