June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
26.1741.1 - 26.1741.15
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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