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Development of interactive hands-on lecture demonstrations for fundamentals of mechanics in large class sizes

27th Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education : AAEE 2016

Abstract: Context: In the large UNSW stage 1 course ENGG1000 - Engineering Design and Innovation, Semester 1, 2015 and Semester 1, 2016; there were approximately 1400 enrolments per semester. The largest single engineering project offered within the course is the Mechanical Engineering project with approximately 280 students joining the project in Semester 1, 2016. In Semester 2, 2015, ENGG1000 student enrolments were 380 with almost 50% selecting the project offered by Mechanical Engineering and approximately 50% of students taking the Mechanical Engineering technical stream (a significant number of students chose both the Mechanical Engineering project and stream). The Mechanical Engineering project of ENGG1000 delivers information to students via large class size lectures. The concepts discussed during lectures are further reinforced through tactile learning in three hardware demonstration labs.

Purpose: This work focusses on personalising the teaching experience and increasing student engagement in the large scale stage 1 course, ENGG1000 - Engineering Design and Innovation. The demonstration items developed in this work provide kinaesthetic learning opportunities for delivering improved, personalised large scale teaching and employing the items in visual media to improve large scale assessment and feedback. The initial work is concentrated on the Mechanical Engineering project but it is planned to incorporate some of the techniques and findings into the common lectures of the course.

Approach: Multiple hands on demonstration items have been designed, manufactured and implemented, covering various areas such as angular displacement, fasteners, how gears mesh, belt and pulley systems, bearings etc. This has enabled a more engaging approach by which lecture material on fundamentals of mechanics is presented to first year students. The demonstration hands-on items were incorporated into the online hardware assessments and incorporated into an Instant Corrective Feedback (ICF) system that highlights incorrect responses made during a quiz and demonstrates the correct functions of the component or system.

Results: In general, the interactive hands-on demonstration teaching aids were very well received and considered to be more engaging by students than traditional lecture styles. Approximately 73% of students found the interactive demonstration items to enhance their learning experience. The ICF style of online assessments were also preferred by students with analysis of student feedback suggesting up to 75% of students preferred this style of online assessment.

Conclusions: Analysis revealed that the majority of students found the interactive demonstration items and ICF assessments to enhance their learning experience.

To cite this article: Menictas, Chris and Willis, Ben. Development of interactive hands-on lecture demonstrations for fundamentals of mechanics in large class sizes [online]. In: 27th Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education : AAEE 2016. Lismore, NSW: Southern Cross University, 2016: 587-594. Availability: <http://search.informit.com.au/documentSummary;dn=697635521103863;res=IELENG> ISBN: 9780994152039. [cited 27 Jun 17].

Personal Author: Menictas, Chris; Willis, Ben; Source: In: 27th Annual Conference of the Australasian Association for Engineering Education : AAEE 2016. Lismore, NSW: Southern Cross University, 2016: 587-594. DOI: Document Type: Conference Paper ISBN: 9780994152039 Subject: Engineering design--Study and teaching; Mechanical engineering--Technological innovations; Substitution reactions; Fasteners--Design and construction; Pulleys; Mechanics, Applied; Peer Reviewed: Yes Affiliation: (1) Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, UNSW Australia, Sydney NSW 2052, Australia, email: c.menictas@unsw.edu.au
(2) Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, UNSW Australia, Sydney NSW 2052, Australia

Database: Engineering Collection