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Will They Remember? Measured Knowledge Retention Across Statics and Solid Mechanics

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Conference

2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015

ISBN

978-0-692-50180-1

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Explorations in Mechanics Pedagogy

Tagged Division

Mechanics

Page Count

15

Page Numbers

26.1741.1 - 26.1741.15

DOI

10.18260/p.25077

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/25077

Download Count

276

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Paper Authors

biography

William Graves P.E. U.S. Military Academy

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William Graves is a Major in the United States Army and an instructor in the Civil Engineering program at the United States Military Academy at West Point. He is a licensed professional engineer and works primarily in engineering education.

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Young Hwan Chun U.S. Military Academy

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Young Chun is an Instructor of Civil Engineering at the United States Military Academy at West Point and has been recently nominated for the ASEE Mechanics Division’s Ferdinand P. Beer and E. Russell Johnston, Jr. Outstanding New Mechanics Educator Award. He is a licensed professional engineer and works primarily in the areas of statics, solid mechanics and engineering education.

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biography

James Ledlie Klosky P.E. U.S. Military Academy

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Led Klosky is a Professor of Civil Engineering at the United States Military Academy at West Point and a past winner of ASEE's National Teaching Medal. He is a licensed professional engineer and works primarily in the areas of infrastructure, subsurface engineering and engineering education.

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biography

Brock E. Barry P.E. U.S. Military Academy

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Dr. Brock E. Barry, P.E. is an Associate Professor and Mechanics Group Director in the Department of Civil & Mechanical Engineering at the United States Military Academy, West Point, New York. Dr. Barry holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Rochester Institute of Technology, a Master of Science degree from University of Colorado at Boulder, and a PhD from Purdue University. Prior to pursuing a career in academics, Dr. Barry spent 10-years as a senior geotechnical engineer and project manager on projects throughout the United States. He is a licensed professional engineer in multiple states. Dr. Barry’s areas of research include assessment of professional ethics, teaching and learning in engineering education, and learning through historical engineering accomplishments. He has authored and co-authored a significant number of journal articles and book chapters on these topics.

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Abstract

Will They Remember? Measured Knowledge Retention Across Statics and Solid MechanicsRetention of key knowledge is an essential outcome for any student in any course. In statics andsolid mechanics, a student ought to remember basic formulas for equilibrium, shear and momentdiagrams, truss analysis, buckling, stress computation for various loadings and other importanttopics. In an attempt to build better knowledge frameworks in students, (NAME REMOVED)undertook a reconfiguration of the statics and solid mechanics sequence to more fully integrateconcepts of stress and design throughout the two-course-sequence. Under this sequence, the firstcourse introduces basic statics and mechanics of materials, while the second course teaches moreadvanced topics, such as stress transformation. A key question in this undertaking has been “Dothe students retain sufficient mastery of the basic material to enable effective engagement withthe more difficult second course in the sequence?” As a first step towards addressing thisquestion and in order to help students prepare for the second course, a comprehensiveexamination was administered to all students very early in the second course in the sequence.This research examines the expected performance versus the actual performance, bothnormalized and raw, and draws on the work of Bristow et al (2014) to analyze student outcomes.Preliminary results indicate that past performance is a weak indicator of knowledge retained, andthat, in general, there is a significant deterioration of basic knowledge between the conclusion ofthe first course in the sequence and the beginning of the second course. Even when givensignificant time to prepare and provided with direct knowledge of the topics covered on theevaluation event, students were generally unable to correctly solve relatively simple problemsfrom the previous semester. This analysis is discussed in detail and observations are offered as topossible causes and the direction for future research into this phenomenon.

Graves, W., & Chun, Y. H., & Klosky, J. L., & Barry, B. E. (2015, June), Will They Remember? Measured Knowledge Retention Across Statics and Solid Mechanics Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.25077

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