Adapting and Implementing the SCALE-UP Approach in Statics, Dynamics, and Multivariate Calculus

Principal Investigators: Matt Ohland and Bill Moss

A multidisciplinary team of faculty at Clemson is working to deliver more effective Statics and Dynamics instruction. Their work builds particularly on two other NSF-funded projects. The project is developing cooperative learning activities that are complementary to those developed through Statics: The Next Generation and delivering them using the Student-Centered Activities for Large Enrollment University Programs (SCALE-UP) model, teaching large studio classes where the primary emphasis is on learning by guided inquiry instead of by listening. The present lecture approach is being revised significantly and the two sequential courses are being integrated according to the needs of students in mechanical engineering and civil engineering. A partnership to include learning exercises from multivariate calculus is helping students transfer knowledge and develop a more robust understanding of the course content. Improvements in student learning is being measured in terms of normalized gain on existing conceptual tests. Faculty development activities, including workshops and mentoring, are nurturing a cadre of faculty who are learning to design and implement cooperative learning activities. The mentoring of faculty in large-enrollment classes is helping expand the use of these teaching methods throughout the curriculum, and the materials developed in this project are applicable to statics and dynamics courses at other universities.

Author: Calvin L. Williams, Mathematical Sciences-Clemson University, Clemson University
Last updated: November 5, 2008
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