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What does an In-Class Meeting Entail? A Characterization and Assessment of Instructor Actions in an Active, Blended, and Collaborative Classroom

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Conference

2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Learning Environments for Statics, Dynamics, and Mechanics of Materials

Tagged Division

Mechanics

Page Count

21

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/29114

Download Count

21

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Paper Authors

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David Allen Evenhouse Purdue University, West Lafayette

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David Evenhouse is a Graduate Student and Research Assistant in the Purdue School of Engineering Education. He graduated from Calvin College in the Spring of 2015 with a B.S.E. concentrating in Mechanical Engineering. Experiences during his undergraduate years included a semester in Spain, taking classes at the Universidad de Oviedo and the Escuela Politécnica de Ingenieria de Gijón, as well as multiple internships in Manufacturing and Quality Engineering. His current work primarily investigates the effects of select emergent pedagogies upon student and instructor performance and experience at the collegiate level. Other interests include engineering ethics, engineering philosophy, and the intersecting concerns of engineering industry and higher academia.

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Rohit R. Kandakatla Purdue University, West Lafayette (College of Engineering)

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Rohit Kandakatla is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in engineering education at Purdue University. He is the co-founder of Footsteps, a startup which working towards transforming engineering education in India. He completed B.Tech in Electronics and Communication Engineering from Manipal University and M.Tech in Embedded Systems from KG Reddy College of Engineering and Technology. He is currently serving as the President of Student Platform for Engineering Education Development (SPEED) and has conducted more than 30 workshops across Asia, Europe, and Latin America which were focused on engineering education development and action planning. He was the founder of Indian Student Forum (ISF) and has been awarded the IGIP SPEED Young Scientist Award for the year 2014 for his efforts. He has been instrumental in setting up Indo Universal collaboration for Engineering Education (IUCEE) students Chapters across 47 colleges across India impacting more than 5000 students since 2013 and has been awarded IUCEE Young leader for his contribution. He was elected as the Vice-President of the International Federation for Engineering Education Societies (IFEES) during World Engineering Education Forum which was held in Florence, Italy in 2015. His areas of interests include policy in higher education, integration of technology and entrepreneurship in engineering education, and service learning.

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Nick A. Stites Purdue University, West Lafayette (College of Engineering)

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Nick A. Stites is pursuing a PhD in Engineering Education at Purdue University. His research interests include developing novel pedagogical methods to teach core engineering courses, leveraging technology to enhance learning experiences, and increasing the effectiveness of laboratory classes. Nick holds a BS and MS in Mechanical Engineering and has experience as an engineering practitioner and as an adjunct instructor at the community-college and research-university level.

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Nimit Patel McKinsey & Company

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Nimit Patel is a Data Analyst with McKinsey & Company, at their Knowledge Center in Waltham. He completed his Master of Science in Industrial Engineering from Purdue University in December 2016. During this period, he also worked as a Data Analytics Research Assistant with the Engineering Education Department and as Vice President - Industry Committee, INFORMS at Purdue University. He completed his Bachelor of Technology in Mechanical Engineering from Sardar Vallabhbhai National Institute of Technology, India in May 2015.

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Austin Zadoks Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Austin Zadoks is an Undergraduate in the School of Materials Engineering and a Research Assistant in the School of Engineering Education and Purdue University.

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Taylor Prebel Purdue University

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Taylor Prebel is an undergraduate student in her senior year at Purdue University. Taylor is a research assistant in Dr. Jennifer DeBoer's lab within the School of Engineering Education.

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Claudio Cesar Silva de Freitas Purdue University

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Claudio holds Bachelor’s degree in Control Engineering at Higher Education Institute of Amazonia (2011), and he holds his Master's degree in Electrical Engineering from the State University of Campinas (2014) in Brazil. Currently, he is pursuing his Ph.D. at Purdue University in Engineering Education. He has experience as a visiting graduate researcher at the University of New Mexico (USA) and professional experience at K&A Wireless as a research associate in Albuquerque (USA). Additionally, he worked at Hitachi Automotive Systems America as an Intern in Research & Development in Detroit (USA) and Senior Product Engineer at Fiat Chrysler Automobiles in Brazil. Claudio’s research focuses on understanding cross-cultural factors impacting student learning process as well as design curriculum based on engineering classes to empower engineering skills through hands-on activities and blended learning environment. He is also interested in design methods which are based on the technology tools usage to stimulate engineering thinking for diverse students.

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Charles Morton Krousgrill Purdue University, West Lafayette (College of Engineering)

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Charles M. Krousgrill is a Professor in the School of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University and is affiliated with the Ray W. Herrick Laboratories at the same institution. He received his B.S.M.E. from Purdue University and received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Applied Mechanics from Caltech. Dr. Krousgrill’s current research interests include the vibration, nonlinear dynamics, friction-induced oscillations, gear rattle vibrations, dynamics of clutch and brake systems and damage detection in rotor systems. Dr. Krousgrill is a member of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE). He has received the H.L. Solberg Teaching Award (Purdue ME) seven times, A.A. Potter Teaching Award (Purdue Engineering) three times, the Charles B. Murphy Teaching Award (Purdue University), Purdue’s Help Students Learn Award, the Special Boilermaker Award (given here for contributions to undergraduate education) and is the 2011 recipient of the ASEE Mechanics Division’s Archie Higdon Distinguished Educator Award.

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Edward J. Berger Purdue University, West Lafayette (College of Engineering)

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Edward Berger is an Associate Professor of Engineering Education and Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University, joining Purdue in August 2014. He has been teaching mechanics for nearly 20 years, and has worked extensively on the integration and assessment of specific technology interventions in mechanics classes. He was one of the co-leaders in 2013-2014 of the ASEE Virtual Community of Practice (VCP) for mechanics educators across the country. His current research focuses on student problem-solving processes and use of worked examples, change models and evidence-based teaching practices in engineering curricula, and the role of non-cognitive and affective factors in student academic outcomes and overall success.

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Jeffrey F. Rhoads Purdue University, West Lafayette (College of Engineering)

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Jeffrey F. Rhoads is a Professor in the School of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue University and is affiliated with both the Birck Nanotechnology Center and Ray W. Herrick Laboratories at the same institution. He received his B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees, each in mechanical engineering, from Michigan State University in 2002, 2004, and 2007, respectively. Dr. Rhoads’ current research interests include the predictive design, analysis, and implementation of resonant micro/nanoelectromechanical systems (MEMS/NEMS) for use in chemical and biological sensing, electromechanical signal processing, and computing; the dynamics of parametrically-excited systems and coupled oscillators; the thermomechanics of energetic materials; additive manufacturing; and mechanics education. Dr. Rhoads is a Member of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) and a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), where he serves on the Design Engineering Division’s Technical Committee on Vibration and Sound. Dr. Rhoads is a recipient of numerous research and teaching awards, including the National Science Foundation’s Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award; the Purdue University School of Mechanical Engineering’s Harry L. Solberg Best Teacher Award (twice), Robert W. Fox Outstanding Instructor Award, and B.F.S. Schaefer Outstanding Young Faculty Scholar Award; the ASEE Mechanics Division’s Ferdinand P. Beer and E. Russell Johnston, Jr. Outstanding New Mechanics Educator Award; and the ASME C. D. Mote Jr., Early Career Award. In 2014, Dr. Rhoads was included in ASEE Prism Magazine’s 20 Under 40.

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Jennifer DeBoer Purdue University, West Lafayette (College of Engineering)

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Jennifer DeBoer is currently Assistant Professor of Engineering Education at Purdue University. Her research focuses on international education systems, individual and social development, technology use and STEM learning, and educational environments for diverse learners.

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Abstract

Although STEM education researchers recognize the need to incorporate a variety of in-class instructional approaches in undergraduate classrooms, few empirical benchmarks exist for the proportion of time instructors dedicate to each approach or activity. Over the past few years, our team has made a concerted effort to implement and disseminate an innovative, undergraduate mechanics learning environment known as Freeform; a pedagogical system integrating active, blended, and collaborative (ABC) instructional elements. Our work has been complicated by the fact that very few previous studies describe, in sufficient detail, what a typical ABC classroom experience looks like from the instructor’s perspective. As a result, adopters of ABC approaches such as Freeform do not have a template describing what activities are typically involved in the day-to-day use of an ABC system. To address this knowledge gap, and to inform future implementations of the Freeform environment, this paper defines a pedagogical benchmark quantifying what happens during a typical Freeform class session. This study focuses specifically on the actions of the instructor in order to answer the question: as part of the Freeform environment, what specific actions do experienced instructors take during in-person class meetings?

Since their inception, Freeform dynamics courses have seen a drastic drop in the rate at which students are earning a D grade, failing, or withdrawing from the course (the so-called DFW rate). On-going work examines the actions and behaviors of students and faculty, in addition to a variety of other variables, as a way of understanding the drastic improvement in DFW rate. For this study, each relevant in-class meeting (i.e., not including cancelled classes, those involving exams, etc.) taught by two experienced Freeform instructors was video recorded over the course of the Spring 2016 semester and subsequently analyzed with respect to instructor actions. Continuous video coding analysis was used to capture how much time these two instructors dedicated to various instructional activities such as assessments, traditional lecturing, demonstrations, and writing notes or examples in real-time. The analysis provides a clearer picture of how and when these two veteran instructors employed active, blended, and collaborative approaches in their classrooms. The implications of the analysis are two-fold. First, we strive to improve Freeform instruction at our institution by providing instructors with an opportunity to reflect on their instructional practices in the context of rigorously-derived, quantitative summaries of real-time teaching actions. Second, we establish a benchmark characterization of ABC instructional elements in engineering mechanics, and discuss its potential implications for undergraduate STEM education at large. Through the evidence developed in this study about specific instructor actions in Freeform classrooms we expect to inform and encourage the implementation of ABC pedagogical practices by other faculty in other courses and at other institutions, as well as to provide an assessment framework suitable for the analysis of STEM in-class instructional practices.

Evenhouse, D. A., & Kandakatla, R. R., & Stites, N. A., & Patel, N., & Zadoks, A., & Prebel, T., & Freitas, C. C. S. D., & Krousgrill, C. M., & Berger, E. J., & Rhoads, J. F., & DeBoer, J. (2017, June), What does an In-Class Meeting Entail? A Characterization and Assessment of Instructor Actions in an Active, Blended, and Collaborative Classroom Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. https://peer.asee.org/29114

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