Teaching Resources for the New Millenium: Statics as an Example

  • Scott Danielson
  • Sudhir Mehta


Education research from the late 20th century suggests many benefits of incorporating pedagogical methods like cooperative learning, peer instruction, critical thinking exercises, and classroom assessment. However, developing instructional materials incorporating these methods takes a significant amount of effort. This paper describes an example of developing instructional materials for instruction in engineering mechanics (statics) using collaboration between faculty members at two universities, the National Science Foundation, and a commercial publisher. These resource materials adapt many of the pedagogical components referenced above. Two experienced faculty, while teaching both large and small enrollment classes at two different universities, have developed these materials. The benefits of these materials include encouraging students to take ownership of their learning, helping instructors focus on critical content, and turning classroom lectures into engaging discussions. The materials also cycle through different parts of the Kolb learning model and address different learning styles. Other aspects of these instructional materials promote cooperative learning and classroom assessment tools to provide quick feedback to both students and instructors. The resource materials include animated PowerPoint presentations of the critical content and a bank of quiz questions for each class period. The concepts used for developing teaching resources in this paper can easily be adapted to any other science, math, engineering and technology (SMET) course. A possible funding source for such an effort is NSF?s Adapt and Implementation (A&I) track of the Course Curriculum and Laboratory Improvement (CCLI) Program.