An Integrated Active Learning Approach for Understanding Fatigue Theory
2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition Proceedings
It is well known that more than 90% of metal components in mechanical systems fails due to fatigue. With this in mind, a basic working understanding of fatigue theory is very important to mechanical engineering students. Fatigue theory, however, is only covered with a few lectures in a typical undergraduate mechanical engineering program's curriculum. Typical treatment could be as few as four lectures during two weeks in our mechanical program at Wentworth Institute of Technology. Because of
... s, some students were typically confused about fatigue theory and might not have a basic working understanding of fatigue theory. Students will typically develop a better understanding of a topic if the same topic is presented to students in different ways. To facilitate the development of a basic working understanding of fatigue theory, we proposed an integrated active learning approach for teaching fatigue theory. This included four different exposures to discuss and explore fatigue theory. These four different approaches were lecturing & homework assignments, physical fatigue testing, FEA simulation of fatigue life of fatigue specimens, and the theoretical calculation of fatigue life of fatigue specimens. After the proposed approach was successfully implemented in the spring semester of 2017, we interviewed some students and conducted a class survey to obtain feedback regarding the approach presented in this paper. Student feedback indicated that students benefited from this integrated active learning approach for teaching fatigue theory. 100 percent of students agreed that they had a much better basic understanding of fatigue theory through this multi-faceted approach. This paper will present and explain in detail the integrated active learning approach for teaching fatigue theory. The class survey data analysis is also presented and analyzed.