Integration And Reinforcement Of Mechanical Engineering Skills Beginning In The First Year Design Experience

Debra Mascaro, Stacy Bamberg, Robert Roemer
2010 Annual Conference & Exposition Proceedings   unpublished
Health Sciences and Technology. She teaches the required freshman design sequence, the required junior mechatronics sequence, and electives in musculoskeletal functional anatomy for engineers and medical instrumentation and physiology. She is interested in the use of technology in the classroom and improving student outcomes through hands-on and interactive experiences. Robert Roemer, University of Utah Robert B. Roemer is currently a professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of
more » ... . He received his B.S. degree from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from Stanford University. He teaches courses in engineering design, and is interested in integrating the use of design projects and active learning throughout the curriculum to improve engineering education. Abstract As the first step in implementing a Student-driven Pedagogy of Integrated, Reinforced, Active Learning (SPIRAL) throughout our Mechanical Engineering curriculum, we are modifying two freshman courses to introduce, integrate and sequentially reinforce multiple engineering topics that lay a foundation for subsequent, more focused ME coursework. Our approach builds on Bruner's 1 concept of a "'spiral curriculum' that turns back on itself at higher levels" through repetition at ever-increasing depths of knowledge. By integrating topics throughout the curriculum that are typically only taught in separate, disconnected engineering classes, and doing so in a design-oriented context, students are forced to repeatedly "parallel process" various engineering skills much as they will be expected to do in engineering practice. Integration also facilitates a redistribution of engineering topics throughout the entire curriculum that (1) reinforces student understanding and retention through reinforcement at short intervals, and (2) minimizes fading of conceptual knowledge due to extended disuse -as is often problematic in the traditional ME curriculum.
doi:10.18260/1-2--16751 fatcat:bai6t2zq7vga7bebhoof5lvdcq