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WIP: Characterizing Conceptual Change about Moments in a Statics Course

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Works in Progress I

Tagged Division

Educational Research and Methods

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Paper Authors


Chris Venters East Carolina University

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Chris Venters is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Engineering at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina, USA. He teaches introductory courses in engineering design and mechanics and upper-level courses in fluid mechanics. He earned his Ph.D. in Engineering Education from Virginia Tech in 2014, and his research primarily focuses on conceptual understanding in engineering mechanics courses. He received his M.S. in Aerospace Engineering from Virginia Tech and his B.S. in Aerospace Engineering from North Carolina State University.

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Katie Brown

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This work in progress paper describes an early pilot of a study to investigate the process of conceptual change related to moments in an engineering statics course. Preliminary results from the pilot provide insight into the structure of novice knowledge about moments and will help inform future data collection. Most conceptual knowledge studies in engineering to date look for evidence of existing knowledge and/or misconceptions that students possess at a point in time, and in some cases, how these change over time as a result of instruction or other learning activities. Typically, these are situated in a course or discipline, though a few studies synthesize misconception characteristics that transcend courses and/or disciplines. Still, the mechanisms and processes through which conceptual change occurs in engineering are not often studied directly. As a result, the ways that students acquire and revise concepts are not well understood. Data collection for this study attempted to document with finer granularity the formation and revision of student conceptions relating to the topic of moments over time in a statics course. Short, frequent interviews were used as the primary data collection method. It is hoped that further analysis and future findings can help better characterize the structure of novice knowledge about moments and the processes by which it develops within an engineering context.

Venters, C., & Brown, K. (2018, June), WIP: Characterizing Conceptual Change about Moments in a Statics Course Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--31246

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