Lovell, M. D., y Brophy, S. P. (2014). Transfer effects of challengebased lessons in an undergraduate dynamics course (ID 10539). Proceedings of the 121st ASEE Annual Conference Exposition, American Society for Engineering Education, Indianapolis, EUA. Recuperado de: https://nees.org/resources/12762/download/ASEE2014_Transfer_Effects_of_Challenged-Based_Lessons_in_an_Undergraduate_Dynamic.pdf
Challenge-based instruction, a method of instruction where course content is framed around and driven by a complex problem or set of problems, requires learners to continually evaluate posed challenges based on what they know and refine this understanding through a series of formal learning experiences. A version of challenge-based learning has been used in an introductory course of dynamics to teach kinetics and kinematics to sophomores in a civil engineering department at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. As an introduction to specific instructional sequences, students were posed a challenge to frame the remaining lectures for that topic. Once the challenge was introduced and before any formal instruction, students were asked to generate ideas about the immediate problems they needed to solve and to generate ideas about potential solutions. In addition, they were asked to generate questions about what more they needed to learn in order to better solve the problem. Next, students engaged in a series of lectures, discussions and problem solving exercises to explore the concepts associated with answering the challenge. At the end of the instructional sequence, students were asked to submit their solution to the initial challenge. An initial study of this approach compared exam question scores between students of challenge-based instruction and traditional lecture and homework problems sets. Results showed the challenge-based students outperformed the prior cohort of students on exam questions similar to those found in the textbook. Therefore, the exam questions were more focused on recall of basic concepts and did not require the same level of processing as the challenges required of students. In this second study, additional questions were added to the exams to better align with the challenges. Initial analysis of the data indicates that students increase their ability to generate ideas and questions using concepts and principles applied in the earlier challenges. The analysis of results also helps describe the limits of students’ conceptual understanding of the governing principles and how these limits diminish with time. Therefore, students are on a learning progress that increases their potential for generalizing their knowledge which will increase their potential to use it in less familiar context. The results of this study will be interesting to instructors and researchers involved in the teaching and learning of dynamics. This paper provides an overview of the fundamental concepts covered by the modules, common challenges to learning dynamics and a qualitative analysis of students work on the challenge statements and exam questions.
Students’ participating in second year dynamics course using challenge-based learning experiences outperforms prior cohorts on well-defined problems. All engineering faculty want their students to demonstrate the ability to apply constitutive properties of target domain to micro analysis task for larger context problems. As an example, engineers must size a part needed in a larger design or must evaluate factors that could have caused a failure. The replication of prior studies reinforces the benefits of challenge-based instruction to improve students’ ability to solve well-defined problems. One premise is challenge-based instruction provides a context for how and when to use these constitutive properties. Therefore, students better comprehend how the constitutive properties apply to a particular context.
The challenge level term exam questions indicate students improved in their ability to model and make use of models of complex systems. This ability is at a higher level of comprehension of the domain compared to solving the well-defined problems. This would indicated that the practice and repetition of the generating ideas and challenge exercises helped to develop the students’ problem solving abilities. However, scores are below what the instructor would have anticipated. Preliminary analysis of students’ work indicates they make very common errors in developing their models. Specifically in constructing their free body diagrams which impacted their ability to make correct interpretations. The next iteration of the course will focus more on developing these skills and will begin with a more careful analysis of these students work. The two exam questions did work well for highlighting students weaknesses which illustrates their role as a diagnostics tool of student learning. Additional questions will be used in the future to better substantiate claims in students’ potential for transferring what they learned in the course to future problem solving contexts.