June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
26.1672.1 - 26.1672.21
Mechanics self-efficacy and why it matters? Introductory mechanics courses have far too long been focused on intensemathematical and theoretical concepts, and traditionally these courses have been shownto be biased toward instructor engagement versus student engagement. Numerous studieshave reported that, more often than not, this bias creates a gap between instructors’teaching styles versus students’ learning styles. Despite this apparent discrepancy, manyintroductory mechanics courses are still taught passively focusing on note-taking, whichis believed to play a role in the contribution of students’ self-efficacy to persist in theirengineering studies as well as in their engineering career choices. Self-efficacy, which is a person’s belief in his/her own ability, has been shown tobe highly correlated with an individual’s performance level. With high self-efficacy, astudent will use more cognitive resources and more effective metacognitive strategies, inaddition to being more likely to select challenging tasks due to his/her self-confidence.Upon encountering a problem, an individual with higher self-efficacy is often willing toput in additional effort and is more persistent in problem solving than a student withlower self-efficacy. This paper presents an innovative pedagogical approach to teaching anintroductory mechanics course, which includes weekly lectures, in-class activities, andhands-on laboratory exercises. The authors also address the impact of web-basedactivities on students’ mechanics-concepts self-efficacy and performance. The web-based activities focus on constructing free-body diagrams. Data from three offerings ofthe course encompassing use of online activities, effectiveness of active learning, anddimensions of self-efficacy over time will be shown in the final paper. Factors, such asgender and year in school associated with students’ persistence and a sense of belongingin engineering will also be explored.
Boylan-Ashraf, P. C., & Billington, S. L., & Sheppard, S. (2015, June), Using Online and Hands-on Activities to Improve Self-efficacy in Mechanics Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.25008
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