June 15, 2019
June 15, 2019
June 19, 2019
With the widespread availability of online streaming services, students can easily binge-watch shows or videos for hours. Yet, the same students seem to struggle to maintain their attention inside engineering classrooms. It is proposed that employing the use of themes and stories within the classroom makes lessons more interesting, thereby capturing the attention of the students so they can also learn the important engineering concepts accompanying the theme. Moreover, students will actually be excited to come to the class to find out what happens next, much like wanting to know what will happen in the next episode of a TV show.
The following paper will provide specific examples of themes and pop culture references used in basic civil engineering courses such as Introduction to Engineering, Statics, Mechanics of Materials, and Structural Analysis. Some themes might be specific to one particular topic (like a pirate theme used to go on an adventure for Hooke’s Law), while other themes can be implemented across various civil engineering disciplines (like a super hero theme). Like any worthwhile show, the use of physical models is emphasized, and the inclusion of other props and costumes is encouraged. The author will present ideas on how to implement the themes, drawing on past experiences that either worked well or failed to engage.
Assessment data from students will also be presented, including quantitative data supporting that more students demonstrated an ability to solve problems involving key concepts. Qualitative data from student surveys will further confirm that “the different themes and costumes [were] something to look forward to when coming to class” and “the enthusiasm… is contagious and inspires learning.”
Battistini, A. (2019, June), Using Themes and Pop Culture References to Make Introductory Civil Engineering Courses More Engaging Paper presented at 2019 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Tampa, Florida. 10.18260/1-2--33521
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