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WIP: Large-scale Development and Deployment of Concept Questions in Statics

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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

Concept Inventories in Mechanics

Tagged Division

Mechanics

Tagged Topic

Diversity

Page Count

17

DOI

10.18260/1-2--35554

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/35554

Download Count

119

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Paper Authors

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Carisa H. Ramming Oklahoma State University

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Carisa Ramming is a graduate of Oklahoma State University where she obtained degrees in Architectural Engineering and Civil Engineering Construction Management. She worked in industry for six years as licensed engineer and structural consultant in Tulsa, OK before returning to Oklahoma State as a visiting faculty member in the School of Architecture. In 2009, Professor Ramming joined the faculty full time as an assistant professor of architectural engineering. Since that time, she has taught classes in structural analysis, timber and steel design, engineering mechanics: statics, building foundations and numerical analysis.

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Christopher Papadopoulos University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez Campus

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Christopher Papadopoulos is Professor in the Department of Engineering Sciences and Materials at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayagüez Campus (UPRM). He earned B.S. degrees in Civil Engineering and Mathematics from Carnegie Mellon University (1993) and a Ph.D. in Theoretical and Applied Mechanics at Cornell University (1999). Prior to UPRM, Papadopoulos served on the faculty in the Department of Civil engineering and Mechanics at the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee.

Papadopoulos has diverse research and teaching interests in structural mechanics and bioconstruction (with emphasis in bamboo); appropriate technology; engineering ethics; and mechanics education. He has served as PI of several NSF-sponsored research projects and is co-author of Lying by Approximation: The Truth about Finite Element Analysis. He is active in the Mechanics Division.

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Eric Davishahl Whatcom Community College Orcid 16x16 orcid.org/0000-0001-9506-2658

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Eric Davishahl holds an MS degree in mechanical engineering and serves as associate professor and engineering program coordinator at Whatcom Community College. His teaching and research interests include developing, implementing and assessing active learning instructional strategies and auto-graded online homework. Eric has been a member of ASEE since 2001. He currently serves as awards chair for the Pacific Northwest Section and was the recipient of the 2008 Section Outstanding Teaching Award.

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Brian P. Self California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo

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Brian Self obtained his B.S. and M.S. degrees in Engineering Mechanics from Virginia Tech, and his Ph.D. in Bioengineering from the University of Utah. He worked in the Air Force Research Laboratories before teaching at the U.S. Air Force Academy for seven years. Brian has taught in the Mechanical Engineering Department at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo since 2006. During the 2011-2012 academic year he participated in a professor exchange, teaching at the Munich University of Applied Sciences. His engineering education interests include collaborating on the Dynamics Concept Inventory, developing model-eliciting activities in mechanical engineering courses, inquiry-based learning in mechanics, and design projects to help promote adapted physical activities. Other professional interests include aviation physiology and biomechanics.

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Sinéad C. MacNamara Syracuse University

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Sinéad Mac Namara is a structural engineer and Associate Professor teaching in both the School of Architecture and the College of Engineering of Syracuse University. She studied civil and structural engineering at Trinity College Dublin and Princeton University. Her research is concerned with structural art, shell structural design, alternate pedagogies for interdisciplinary education, and investigations to foster creativity and innovation in engineering curricula. Mac Namara co-authored a book Collaboration in Architecture and Engineering released in 2014 and her research has been published in engineering and architecture education journals, nationally and internationally. She has received awards for innovative teaching from Princeton University, Syracuse University, and the American Society for Engineering Education. She also engages in design and design-build projects as a collaborator with her architecture students and colleagues. This work has been recognized with awards from the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture, the Architectural Institute of America and the City of New York.

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Meredith Silberstein Cornell University

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Joan V. Dannenhoffer P.E. Syracuse University

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Joan Dannenhoffer is Associate Teaching Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Syracuse University. She received her M.S. in Environmental Engineering from the University of Connecticut and M.B.A. and B.S. in Civil Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. She is a Professional Engineer in the State of Connecticut. Her research interests are in engineering education pedagogy, especially in implementing active learning strategies in large classes. She currently teaches Engineering Statics, Mechanics of Solids, Introduction to Engineering, Civil Engineering Materials, and Intro to Sustainability for Civil and Environmental Engineers.

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Abstract

For more than three decades, mechanics educators have been aware that even students who perform well on quantitative and procedural exercises often fail to demonstrate understanding of the underlying concepts (Clement 1982)(McDermott 1984)(Halloun and Hestenes 1985b, 1985a)(Mazur 1992). As a result, concept-based learning has evolved as an active-learning approach to address this situation. According to (Authors withheld 2019),

Concept-based active learning is the use of activity-based pedagogies whose primary objectives are to make students value deep conceptual understanding (instead of only factual knowledge) and then to facilitate their development of that understanding. It has been shown to increase academic engagement and student achievement (Freeman et al. 2014), to significantly improve student retention (National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine 2011), and to reduce the performance gap of underrepresented students (Haak et al. 2011).

Although concept-based pedagogies are effective, but “[c]reating effective [concept] questions is difficult and differs from creating exam and homework problems” (Beatty et al. 2006), and there is currently a lack of readily-available concept questions designed for classroom use. Existing concept inventories (CI’s), such as the Concept Assessment Tool for Statics (“CATS”) (Steif & Dantzler, 2005) consist of a relatively small number of questions (the CATS has 27), limiting the variety of questions that can be posed for a given concept. Moreover, in-class feedback and discussion threaten the overall security of the instrument. Finally, CI questions have single correct answers, limiting their use for situations with multiple possible defensible answers and interpretations.

For concept-based instruction to be scaled up, a large repository of questions that can be broadly and efficiently deployed is needed. To this end, the authors are part of a project currently funded by NSF to expand an existing online Concept Question Repository (CQR) [true name withheld] to include questions for Statics. The CQR can be used to develop and deploy questions to students via multiple modalities (in class, at home, online, offline, etc.), and it is also relatively easy for instructors to create their own questions nearly in real time. To date, approximately 80 Statics questions have been developed, and will expand to about 200 by the time of the Conference & Expo. A summary of question design philosophy, scope, and examples will be provided in the paper.

During the 2019-20 year, the CQR will be used by the authors or their colleagues at three different institutions, directly impacting an estimated 500 students. Data will be collected and reported regarding (1) the frequency of student interaction with the CQR; (2) student performance with respect to accuracy (including a comparison with other metrics, such as exam scores); (3) students’ reported self confidence in their responses; and (4) student feedback on the effectiveness of the questions. Participating instructors will also provide perspectives on their experience with the online tool and their observations of student engagement. Bibliography

Authors 2019. Withheld. Beatty, Ian D., William J. Gerace, William J. Leonard, and Robert J. Dufresne. 2006. “Designing Effective Questions for Classroom Response System Teaching.” American Journal of Physics 74 (1): 31–39. https://doi.org/10.1119/1.2121753. Clement, John. 1982. “Students’ Preconceptions in Introductory Mechanics.” American Journal of Physics 50 (1): 66–71. https://doi.org/10.1119/1.12989. Freeman, S., S. L. Eddy, M. McDonough, M. K. Smith, N. Okoroafor, H. Jordt, and M. P. Wenderoth. 2014. “Active Learning Increases Student Performance in Science, Engineering, and Mathematics.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 111 (23): 8410–15. https://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.1319030111. Haak, David C, Janneke HilleRisLambers, Emile Pitre, and Scott Freeman. 2011. “Increased Structure and Active Learning Reduce the Achievement Gap in Introductory Biology.” Science 332 (6034): 1213–16. https://doi.org/10.1126/science.1204820. Halloun, Ibrahim Abou, and David Hestenes. 1985a. “Common Sense Concepts about Motion.” American Journal of Physics 53 (11): 1056–65. https://doi.org/10.1119/1.14031. ———. 1985b. “The Initial Knowledge State of College Physics Students.” American Journal of Physics 53 (11): 1043–55. https://doi.org/10.1119/1.14030. Mazur, E. 1992. “Qualitative vs. Quantitative Thinking: Are We Teaching the Right Thing?” Optics & Photonics News 3 (February): 38. McDermott, L.C. 1984. “Research on Conceptual Understanding in Mechanics.” Physics Today 37 (July): 24–32. https://doi.org/10.1063/1.2916318. National Academies of Science, Engineering, and Medicine. 2011. Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation: America’s Science and Technology Talent at the Crossroads. Expanding Underrepresented Minority Participation: America’s Science and Technology Talent at the Crossroads. The National Academies Press. https://doi.org/10.17226/12984.

Ramming, C. H., & Papadopoulos, C., & Davishahl, E., & Self, B. P., & MacNamara, S. C., & Silberstein, M., & Dannenhoffer, J. V. (2020, June), WIP: Large-scale Development and Deployment of Concept Questions in Statics Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35554

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