Back to the Basics with Active Learning

Hoback, Alan S.

Conference: Proceedings of the Spring 2009 American Society of Engineering Education North Central Section Conference, 2009/04


Active learning was used in an upper level structural analysis course that has extensive review of topics from prerequisite courses. Students worked on review examples in-class as the instructor mingled around to check solutions. The students worked the examples on provided worksheets that had the problem givens and the list of solution steps. Using active learning slowed the coverage of review material, so class days were alternated between active learning sessions and fast-paced lectures. The result was that homework scores in the review sections improved. Students became much more proficient in the review material. Checking every student answer on in-class examples as they work them requires either small class sizes or that teaching assistants be present in the classroom

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