Enhancing Student Learning in Mechanics through Rapid-Feedback

J. Kadlowec, J. Chen, and D. Whittinghill (USA)


Computers and education, Concepts learning, Mechanics, Rapid feedback, Handheld computers


In this project our goal is to improve student learning in engineering mechanics courses. The aim to improve learning was accomplished by providing rapid feedback to students of their understanding of key concepts and skills being taught. The feedback system acts as a catalyst to encourage students, working in pairs, to assist each other in correcting misconceptions or deepening each other’s understanding of the concept or skill at hand. Furthermore, the system allows the professor to assess the students’ level of comprehension or misconception in a just-in-time fashion, and thus guide the pace of covering the material. The feedback is enabled through wireless networked handheld computers or color-coded flashcards. In the first two years of the study, the feedback system was implemented in two sections of a lower-level, core engineering course, statics, as well as in follow-on courses of dynamics and solid mechanics.

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