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Design Implementation and Assessment of a Suite of Multimedia and Hands-on Active Learning Enhancements for Machine Design

[+] Author Affiliations
Dan Jensen, John Wood, Scott Dennis

U.S. Air Force Academy

Kristin Wood, Matthew Campbell

University of Texas at Austin

Paper No. IMECE2005-81599, pp. 155-164; 10 pages
doi:10.1115/IMECE2005-81599
From:
  • ASME 2005 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Innovations in Engineering Education: Mechanical Engineering Education, Mechanical Engineering/Mechanical Engineering Technology Department Heads
  • Orlando, Florida, USA, November 5 – 11, 2005
  • Conference Sponsors: Mechanical Engineering Education
  • ISBN: 0-7918-4232-0 | eISBN: 0-7918-3769-6
  • Copyright © 2005 by ASME

abstract

Over the last eight years, the Machine Design courses at the United States Air Force Academy and at the University of Texas, Austin have evolved through the development, implementation and assessment of extensive active learning methods. In particular, the courses have evolved to include extensive hands-on projects that are integrated throughout the course as well as a significant multimedia component. The hands-on educational innovations, which promote experiential investigation using devices such as remote controlled cars, Lego RoboLab, and reverse engineering of consumer products, have received very positive assessment. The multimedia content, which includes extensive foundational content on Mechanics of Materials as well as a separate multimedia experience for learning about planetary gear systems, has also been assessed and received very affirmative feedback. The assessment of these active learning educational innovations has been multifaceted. Quantitative components of the assessment have included student end-of-course critiques, homework, specific exam questions and survey data. Qualitative assessment has been achieved through focus groups as well as both written and verbal feedback from students and professors using the active learning aids. Although the majority of the assessment has been positive, we have also received important constructive criticism during the development of these educational enhancements. The “iterative” development of these active learning techniques has involved responding to these criticisms and reassessing the program’s effectiveness. In this paper, we first provide an overview of the previous work done in this area, then move on to show new developments and related assessment. In particular, new assessment, which is correlated with Myers Briggs personality types, is reported, showing results of the current integrated use of active learning techniques, including hands-on and multimedia experiences. In this light, the current paper should work as a roadmap for others who desire to integrate active learning into their courses, whether they are courses in Machine Design or not.

Copyright © 2005 by ASME

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