• Structuring a Class Period - Reaching Different Learning Styles in the Classroom

      Davis, Jul
      Adapting to students’ needs in the classroom can be critical to their success. Only teaching to one learning style can leave students feeling excluded or locked out from the content of the class. However, it can be difficult to know each of our student's learning style to be able to reach them in a positive manner. One way to approach the problem is to adapt the structure of the lesson to intentionally reach more than one learning style in one class period. This gives everyone a chance to learn. My class periods are staged to begin with example problems through which students may learn by example. The faculty leads the discussion on how to solve a problem while delivering the concept of the day. The next stage in the classroom is used to allow students to work together to apply their newly learned knowledge on a new problem. The third, final stage of the class is where students collectively lead the discussion on how to solve a new problem. Sprinkled within these problem solving periods are opportunities for visual/verbal learners to take in information, questions and answers to stimulate active & reflective learners, and at times demonstrations to help sensing and intuitive learners.
    • Technical Communication with Project Based Learning (A Six-Section Rube Goldberg Design Project)

      Chlebowski, Art; Davis, Jul
      Engineering's accreditation body (ABET) states (in Criterion 3) that every engineering program should have 11 student outcomes by which they measure the program's success. Some of the outcomes are that students should have an ability to: 1) design a system or component, 2) function on multidisciplinary teams, 3) communicate effectively, and 4) use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice. This course has been designed to assess these 4 outcomes with particular emphasis on communicating effectively using modern engineering tools. The importance of detailed technical communication is sometimes a tough lesson to deliver in a pure lecture course. However, when students are tasked with communicating with each other on one whole project, students MUST learn to communicate accurately with their fellow students: both within and among groups. Written and oral reports are still assessed by faculty BUT the true measure of success is how well everything works on the day of the run! The most recent project assigned to students is the task of constructing a Six-Section Rube Goldberg machine. Each section is assigned to an individual 3-4 person team. Each section must have a theme and 15 unique activations or transfers of energy. Throughout the design and construction process, students are tasked with and must validate that each process within the section is “different” from each other, and “different” from the steps in different sections. This creates an avenue for constant communication between groups. In addition, since the end of one section’s machine, must activate another section’s machine – students are constantly communicating with each other as to how and where their designs will intersect. This project was successful overall