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Using Concept Maps to Illustrate the Evolution of Key Concepts: Student Learning Experience in a Foundational Undergraduate Engineering Course

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

June 29, 2016





Conference Session

Measuring Learning in Statics & Dynamics

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Paper Authors


Ning Fang Utah State University

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Ning Fang is a Professor in the Department of Engineering Education at Utah State University, USA. He has taught a variety of courses at both graduate and undergraduate levels, such as engineering dynamics, metal machining, and design for manufacturing. His areas of interest include computer-assisted instructional technology, curricular reform in engineering education, and the modeling and optimization of manufacturing processes. He earned his PhD, MS, and BS degrees in mechanical engineering and is a Senior Member of the Society for Manufacturing Engineering (SME) and a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE).

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As a graphical tool for knowledge organization, representation, and elicitation, concept mapping has received growing attention and application in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) disciplines as an effective instructional strategy to improve student conceptual understanding. This paper reports how the concept mapping approach was employed in a foundational undergraduate engineering dynamics course. In this course, students (rather than the instructor) developed their concept maps to illustrate the evolution of key concepts in engineering dynamics. Data were collected from students who took an engineering dynamics course in recent two semesters: Semester I when concept mapping was not employed and Semester II when concept mapping was employed. The results show that as compared to Semester I, students developed better conceptual understanding in Semester II. Four representative examples of concept maps generated by students in Semester II are presented in this paper. A representative set of student comments are also presented, which demonstrate how the concept mapping approach helped students develop better conceptual understanding.

Fang, N. (2016, June), Using Concept Maps to Illustrate the Evolution of Key Concepts: Student Learning Experience in a Foundational Undergraduate Engineering Course Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.27140

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