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Using Online Quizzes and Discussion Forums to Enhance Learning Numerical Methods

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Conference

2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

San Antonio, Texas

Publication Date

June 10, 2012

Start Date

June 10, 2012

End Date

June 13, 2012

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Using Computers, Software, and Writing to Improve Mathematical Understanding

Tagged Division

Mathematics

Page Count

10

Page Numbers

25.1435.1 - 25.1435.10

DOI

10.18260/1-2--22192

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/22192

Download Count

88

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Paper Authors

biography

Bipin K. Pai Purdue University, Calumet

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Bipin K. Pai has a B.S., aeronautical engineering, Indian Institute of Technology, Madras, India, 1972; a M.S., mechanical engineering, University of Rochester, 1973; and a Ph.D., mechanical engineering, University of Rochester, 1978. He was Purdue University, Calumet, Director of Honors Program, 2005-present; Purdue University, Calumet, professor of mechanical engineering, 1991-present, full-time; Purdue University, Calumet, Associate Professor of mechanical engineering, 1984-1991, full-time; and Purdue University, Calumet, Assistant Professor of mechanical engineering, 1979-1984, full-time. He was also Faculty Fellow at Argonne National Laboratory, to work on finite element analysis of polycrystalline arrays to determine grain boundary mechanics, Summer 1985; Faculty Fellow at Argonne National Laboratory, to work on finite element analysis of shipping casks in edge-drop impact tests, Summer 1987; and Faculty Fellow at Argonne National Laboratory, to work on finite element stress analysis of solid breeder blanket of tokamak fusion reactors -- ITER (International Thermo-Nuclear Experimental Reactor) Program, Summer 1988. He won the Faculty Research Leave Award (Sabbatical Leave) at Argonne National Laboratory, to work on finite element stress analysis of Tokamak fusion reactor first walls, 1986-1987; and the United States Air Force Summer Faculty Research Award, Edwards Air Force Base, California, to work on experimental and theoretical analysis of the fracture behavior of a composite solid rocket propellant, Summer 1989. He holds current membership in professional organizations the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the
American Society for Engineering Education.
He has been awarded travel grants to present a research paper at the Fourth International Congress of Biorheology, Jikei University, Tokyo, Japan; expenses covered in part by an invited lecture travel grant from the International Congress of Biorheology and in part by a Purdue XL International Travel Grant, 1981; the Summer Faculty Research Award at Argonne National Laboratory, to work on finite element analysis of polycrystalline arrays to determine grain boundary mechanics, 1985; the Faculty Research Leave Award (Sabbatical Leave) at Argonne National Laboratory, to work on finite element stress analysis of Tokamak fusion reactor first walls, 1986-1987; the Summer Faculty Research Award at Argonne National Laboratory, to work on finite shipping casks in edge-drop impact tests, 1987; and the
Summer Faculty Research Award at Argonne National Laboratory, to work on finite element stress analysis of solid breeder blanket of tokamak fusion reactors -- ITER (International Thermo-Nuclear Experimental Reactor) Program, 1986. His service activities (within and outside of the institution) include Department, 2000-present, Engineering Assessment Committee, 1984-present, multiple faculty search committees,1995-present, Mechanical Engineering Coordinator
School, 2007-2009, Strategic Plan Committee, 2005-present, Curriculum Committee, 2008-present, Chair, EMS Committee on Outstanding Undergraduate Student Award Committee University, 2009-2011, University Committee on Promotions and Tenure (Panel C), 2005-present, Director of the Honors Program, 2008-2010, University Senate, 2010-present, AQIP Committee Professional, 2000-present, ABET, Mechanical Engineering Evaluator.
The most important publications and presentations from the past five years: Bipin Pai and Pattabhi Sitaram, “Elastic Stresses in Reinforced Concrete Folded Plates by Finite Element Method," International Journal of Arts and Sciences, Volume 3, Number 9, 364-382 (2010). Bipin Pai, “Some helpful ideas in preparing the Self-Study," talk presented at the 2010 ABET Symposium, Alexis Park Resort, Las Vegas, N.V., April 15-17, 2010. Invited to present again at the 2011 ABET Symposium, Indianapolis, Ind., April 14-16, 2011. Bipin Pai, “What you need to do when planning for the ABET visit," talk presented at the 2010 ABET Symposium, Alexis Park Resort, Las Vegas, N.V., April 15-17, 2010. Bipin Pai, John Rowan and Brandon Rukes, “Redesigning Honors Program Leadership”, talk presented at the Annual NCHC Conference, Kansas City, Oct. 20-23, 2010.

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Abstract

USING ONLINE QUIZZES AND DISCUSSION FORUMS TO ENHANCE LEARNING NUMERICAL METHODSABSTRACTThe use of quizzes to enhance learning outcomes has been used by educators in several coursesto various degrees of success. On our campus the class on numerical methods has been offeredfor the past two summers as a hybrid course, with both the online and face-to-face components.As it is a course offered in the summer’s shortened eight-week session, the 3-credit hour coursein only a face-to-face class setting typically meets two hours, thrice a week. The hybrid coursethat I taught in the past two summers met once a week and the other two meetings wereconducted as “online” meetings. The reasons to offer the course as a hybrid course rather than atotally online course will be discussed in the full-length paper.By assigning a substantial portion of the course grade to online quizzes (in my course 20%), Iessentially forced the students to use the Blackboard Vista course management system(http://blackboard.com), which is available freely to our students on campus. The BlackboardVista system is also available to students either on-campus or off-campus. Technology and skillrequirements are made clear to the students who sign up for the course. The students are alsomade aware of the participation expectations. For the pilot study I used the online quizzes tohelp me in the teaching delivery of the numerical methods course. In addition, one of the otherrequirements for the online portion of the course was that all students had to participate activelyin online discussion forums. Only 5% of the course grade was attributed to the onlinediscussions. The students had to post at least one new discussion thread on a topic and respondto at least two others. The discussions were monitored by me and the rules of “netiquette” wereexplained at the beginning of the course making it very clear that any use of “foul” language willnot be tolerated. I was not totally surprised to find that the students who took the online quizzesand who participated actively in the online discussion forums actually performed much better intheir mid-term and final exams than those that didn’t participate actively in the online activities.

Pai, B. K. (2012, June), Using Online Quizzes and Discussion Forums to Enhance Learning Numerical Methods Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--22192

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