Engineering Mechanics at the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering is a four credit hours course offered every semester for chemical, electrical, environmental and industrial engineering students. The course covers the mechanics concepts in both statics and dynamics. Students classify the course as one of the most difficult core courses in their curriculum. Several educational approaches were examined to identify the best tool of delivery. Some of these tools that have been used by the author are cooperative learning, computer based instruction and design based instruction. This paper describes the design-based instructions in the engineering mechanics class. In the design based instruction, students are required to build a product that will require the engineering mechanics concepts while performing the analysis and optimization stage in the design process. Because the collaborative group learning is used for the all course assignments including the product design, students are placed in design teams. The assessment is based on competition between the design groups. By virtue of the nature of the course and the time limitation, the design process is taught through one-on-one interaction. Detailed requirements are given in the project statement. Design groups perform limited market analysis before their first meeting with the instructor who acts as a consultant. Functional analysis, idea generation and evaluation of the alternatives are done by one-on-one interaction between the consultant and the design groups. The systematic design approach is emphasizes. Upon completion the selection of one design alternative, the design group performs a complete statics and dynamics analysis of their design. Software such working model is used in the analysis. Through the three semesters where this approach was applied, students have showed higher participation, enhancement in their analysis skills and better understanding of the mechanical concepts.
|Number of pages||8|
|Journal||ASEE Annual Conference Proceedings|
|Publication status||Published - 1999|
ASJC Scopus subject areas