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WIP: Common Errors in Learning Strength of Materials Concepts as a Foundation to an Interactive Web-based Problem-solving Assessment Interface

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Conference

2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access

Location

Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Improving Student Outcomes in Mechanics

Tagged Division

Mechanics

Page Count

6

DOI

10.18260/1-2--35528

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/35528

Download Count

109

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Paper Authors

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Nicole P. Pitterson Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-9221-1574

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Nicole is an assistant professor in the Department of Engineering Education at Virginia Tech. Prior to joining VT, Dr. Pitterson was a postdoctoral scholar at Oregon State University. She holds a PhD in Engineering Education from Purdue University and other degrees in Manufacturing Engineering from Western Illinois University and a B.Sc. in Electrical and Electronic Engineering from the University of Technology, Jamaica. Her research interests are exploring students' disciplinary identity through engagement with knowledge, curriculum design, assessment and evaluation and teaching for conceptual understanding.

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Jacob R. Grohs Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

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Jacob Grohs is an Assistant Professor in Engineering Education at Virginia Tech with Affiliate Faculty status in Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics and the Learning Sciences and Technologies at Virginia Tech. He holds degrees in Engineering Mechanics (BS, MS) and in Educational Psychology (MAEd, PhD).

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Sneha Patel Davison Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

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Sneha is an instructor in the Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics Department at Virginia Tech. She earned her Bachelor's of Science, her Master's of Science, and her Doctoral degree from the Engineering Mechanics department also at Virginia Tech. Her research interests include exploring the most effective methods to teach students introductory level mechanics, especially in the large classroom environment.

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David A. Dillard P.E. Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

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David Dillard is the Adhesive and Sealant Science Professor in the Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics Department at Virginia Tech. He has worked extensively in the field of adhesive bonding, having experience in structural adhesives for aerospace, automotive, and infrastructure applications; adhesives and coatings for microelectronic applications; pressure sensitive adhesives; elastomeric adhesives and sealants; and polymeric membranes. He has authored or co-authored over 190 refereed publications and regularly teaches courses in adhesion science, polymer viscoelasticity, and sustainable energy solutions. With nearly 40 years of experience as an educator, he is interested in new ways to leverage technology to have a positive impact on student learning and assessment.

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Todd Patrick Shuba Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0003-1991-3814

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Todd P. Shuba is a New Horizon Graduate Scholar in the College of Engineering, as well as a Graduate Research and Teaching Assistant in the Department of Engineering Education, at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. His research interests include transfer of learning, collaborative learning, and student motivation and engagement. He holds a Bachelor of Science in Engineering with a concentration in Environmental and Ecological Engineering and a minor in Mechanical Engineering, as well as a Master of Science in Education with a concentration in Educational Psychology and Research Methodology, from Purdue University-West Lafayette.

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James Lord Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

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Abstract

Despite the prevalence of problem exercises in the learning and assessment of engineering knowledge, recent research suggests a troubling mismatch between what is taught, what is learned, and what is assessed. Investigations with validated physics and mechanics concept inventories have identified that students conceptual understanding is in stark contrast to their achievement in courses. Qualitative studies conducted to investigate this phenomenon have shown that students of varied levels of expertise might demonstrate expected proficiency in problem-solving, but that conceptual understanding is lacking. That is, students who progress in their studies become better at calculating solutions to well-structured problems, but some remain deficient in the conceptual principles required to reason through complex or novel problems.

This project is rooted in the belief that problem-solving is foundational to engineering education, but that growing class sizes and demands on teaching time, as well as students’ prior knowledge and experiences, have deemphasized aspects of problem solving that align with research on learning and evidence-based pedagogical practices. Educational researchers argue that technology-rich learning environments can be used to overcome these challenges and thus foster conceptual understanding.

To systematically investigate how a technology-rich problem-solving interface can enhance the teaching, learning, and assessment of complex knowledge, researchers must initially develop a prerequisite understanding of both the processes by which students are actively constructing knowledge in a specific domain and the critical factors that either facilitate or undermine such active construction. In other words, what are the common conceptual schemas for reasoning through complex problems in the specific domain? Furthermore, what are the common errors students transfer in as prior knowledge when solving problems in the specific domain?

The proposed paper will set the stage for the development, implementation, testing, and deployment of a technology-rich problem-solving interface for Mechanics of Deformable Bodies in Engineering Science course. Data collected from 20 students enrolled in the course through think aloud interviews will be analyzed to determine what misconceptions, if any, students hold about course concepts. The items on the instrument were developed by members of the research team who have taught the course for multiple years and are examples of the items to be included in the interactive problem-solving tool. This paper documents the first step in an iterative process of item development and testing that will allow for the continuous improvement of the tool. The results from this work will aid the development of an open-access, online adaptive problem-solving environment that will enable and foster accelerated learning, offer opportunities to improve classroom efficiency and effectiveness, and enhance assessment accuracy in engineering.

Pitterson, N. P., & Grohs, J. R., & Davison, S. P., & Dillard, D. A., & Shuba, T. P., & Lord, J. (2020, June), WIP: Common Errors in Learning Strength of Materials Concepts as a Foundation to an Interactive Web-based Problem-solving Assessment Interface Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35528

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