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Effectiveness of Evidence-Based Active Learning Pedagogies in Engineering Technology Courses

[+] Author Affiliations
Mohsen Ayoobi, Mukasa Ssemakula, Ana Djuric

Wayne State University, Detroit, MI

Paper No. IMECE2018-87656, pp. V005T07A011; 9 pages
  • ASME 2018 International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition
  • Volume 5: Engineering Education
  • Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, USA, November 9–15, 2018
  • Conference Sponsors: ASME
  • ISBN: 978-0-7918-5206-4
  • Copyright © 2018 by ASME


It is shown in the literature that in the traditional lecture teaching mode, students are mostly passive and do not actively engage in the learning process. Not being engaged in the learning process, students are more likely to lose interest in the material and less likely to comprehend material at a deep level. Consequently, students in traditional lecturing are more prone to simply target meeting the minimum requirements to pass a course. In contrast, active-learning pedagogies have been designed such that students are given the opportunity to engage in the learning process as active participants in the classroom. This promotes better comprehension of the concepts involved. At Wayne State University, statistics on students’ performance indicate that many students entering the Engineering Technology programs either drop or fail to pass courses with a C or better, with success rates being as low as 59% for some courses. To address this issue, the authors have adopted evidence-based active learning techniques in selected courses in the Mechanical Engineering Technology program. The Statics, Dynamics, and Applied Thermodynamics courses were targeted for this initial effort. Statics is a gateway course foundational to the rest of the program, Dynamics is taken right after Statics, and Thermodynamics is one of the most challenging senior level courses. These courses will serve as avenues for measuring the effectiveness (or otherwise) of using active learning techniques in engineering technology education. More specifically, the authors have adopted the following evidence-based techniques: in-class experiments, just-in-time teaching, team quizzes, and students as teachers. This paper describes the specific class activities that were undertaken when implementing the different techniques. The effectiveness of these techniques was measured using students’ persistence in the target courses and the final grades. In addition, standardized concept inventory tests were administered at the beginning and the end of the semester as another measure of the effectiveness of this implementation. Preliminary findings from this study indicate that this project has successfully fostered students’ interest, persistence, and performance.

Copyright © 2018 by ASME



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