Stories
Slash Boxes
Comments

SoylentNews is people

SoylentNews is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop. Only 16 submissions in the queue.
posted by n1 on Wednesday June 11 2014, @06:51AM   Printer-friendly
from the and-called-it-the-internet dept.

Purdue University researchers who developed a new approach to more effectively teach large numbers of engineering students are recommending that the approach be considered for adoption by universities globally.

The system, called the Purdue Mechanics Freeform Classroom, allows students to interact with each other and faculty online while accessing hundreds of instructional videos and animations. It was pioneered by Charles Krousgrill, a professor of mechanical engineering, and has been used for more than two years in two mechanical engineering core courses with hundreds of students enrolled annually.

"Data analysis shows that the students are really engaging our materials, and it is having a marked effect on student performance," said Krousgrill, who is working with Jeffrey Rhoads an associate professor of mechanical engineering, Eric Nauman, a professor of mechanical engineering, and Beth Holloway, assistant dean for undergraduate education in Purdue's College of Engineering. "We'd really like to see this expand beyond the borders of Purdue and are working now to make it happen."

 
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough Mark All as Read Mark All as Unread
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
  • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 11 2014, @07:10AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 11 2014, @07:10AM (#54038)

    Holy carp. Back in high school we used to say "man, I could learn more by staying home and watching TV than I ever could at this stinking high school." Looks like the egg heads have found a way to combine college telecourses and mandatory attendance, didn't they. Fucking assholes just won't admit that college is totally worthless, or they'd all be out of a job, huh?

    • (Score: -1, Flamebait) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 11 2014, @07:32AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 11 2014, @07:32AM (#54048)

      College, worthless?! Shirley Hugh Jess! You too can be totally unemployable, just staaaay in schoooool. Spend all your money on university degrees, why not get three? While you attend class after class after class, give your professors the attention and adulation they so desperately desire! Remember, professors wither and perish if they don't get their daily dose of student worship!

      • (Score: 2) by weeds on Wednesday June 11 2014, @02:48PM

        by weeds (611) on Wednesday June 11 2014, @02:48PM (#54165) Journal

        AC didn't do very well in college did he?

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 11 2014, @09:02PM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 11 2014, @09:02PM (#54294)

          Or, AC is college educated and unemployed.

  • (Score: 4, Interesting) by aristarchus on Wednesday June 11 2014, @07:40AM

    by aristarchus (2645) on Wednesday June 11 2014, @07:40AM (#54050) Journal

    Do the students get credit for time served, . . um, I mean, for life experience? And does the amount a credit for life experience depend on the amount of money you have access to (either from, or not from, said life experience)?

    Congratulations, we have re-invented the apprenticeship model for the manual trades! Now get off my University!!!!

  • (Score: 3, Funny) by wonkey_monkey on Wednesday June 11 2014, @07:43AM

    by wonkey_monkey (279) on Wednesday June 11 2014, @07:43AM (#54051) Homepage

    What's this? A story about education that isn't about encouraging more girls into STEM subjects?

    Sexist pigs!

    --
    systemd is Roko's Basilisk
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 11 2014, @07:51AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 11 2014, @07:51AM (#54053)

      Not nearly sexist enough. Men don't need no education, men belong off at war. Teach the girls engineering. The Future is Female.

    • (Score: 2) by tynin on Wednesday June 11 2014, @11:24AM

      by tynin (2013) on Wednesday June 11 2014, @11:24AM (#54080) Journal

      You, sir, owe me a new keyboard! Mine is now covered in coffee.

      Too funny.

  • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Grishnakh on Wednesday June 11 2014, @02:40PM

    by Grishnakh (2831) on Wednesday June 11 2014, @02:40PM (#54156)

    What they need to do is teach people to work in open-plan work environments. Towards this end, they should, for example, have engineering exams out in busy hallways with lots of people walking right by students' desks and talking loudly. In addition, at random points during the test, every 10 minutes or so, some loud-talking, annoying person should go to each student and interrupt him/her with some meaningless blather. If you can't concentrate in such an environment, you have no business being an engineer.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 11 2014, @03:31PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 11 2014, @03:31PM (#54187)
      How could you leave out the incessant chewing noises?
    • (Score: 1) by Hyperturtle on Wednesday June 11 2014, @11:08PM

      by Hyperturtle (2824) on Wednesday June 11 2014, @11:08PM (#54339)

      I would agree with this, but I counter it with it having to be a genuine workplace disturbance emulation.

      When I am at the main office, my boss appears every 10 minutes to try to find out what I am doing, because thinking has to involve something greater than sitting quietly. If he is not there to manage me, it's clearly a failure in leadership. He will appear with a critical cursor blinking or mousepad delivery issue for a marketing concern, and it doesn't matter if the consultant is charging $165 an hour and in the middle of a call -- get out and deliver the mousepads. The no-skilled warm body nearby that wasn't in the line of sight will continue to wear earbuds and look busy.

      The true measure of skill for an engineer is not only being able to think in a noisy environment, but also to be able to master the art of looking busy.

      I have my own home office with more hardware than my employer has, so I generally work from there when not at a customer. To do a quality job, write quality documentation, and make good designs--you shouldn't have to put up with that level of disruption. I completely agree that one must learn how to focus with disruption around you, because it will not always be ideal and dangerous to assume that it will be.

      Being able to distance oneself from the din can backfire, though -- I've had people walk up and start talking to me and then get offended that I was ignoring them. I wasn't ignoring them -- I was ignoring everything because it was the only way to work. I've had to train people to say my name if they want to speak to me, because otherwise I can't concentrate and listen in case someone started to speak -- people already are doing that and not necessarily to me!

      In any event, the best quality of work will likely be done in an ideal environment. If an employer can't be bothered to understand what it takes for people to think, then they shouldn't be surprised when the quality of work suffers, or people that are good thinkers but easily distracted end up under-performing despite everything else going quite well. Open environments are not one-size-fits all, but engineers shouldn't assume they can be secluded, either.

      • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Thursday June 12 2014, @02:23PM

        by Grishnakh (2831) on Thursday June 12 2014, @02:23PM (#54601)

        Open environments are not one-size-fits all, but engineers shouldn't assume they can be secluded, either.

        Right, and this is why I discourage anyone from going into engineering or software development if they can't thrive in an open, noisy environment, because that's all there is these days.

  • (Score: 2) by JeanCroix on Wednesday June 11 2014, @03:37PM

    by JeanCroix (573) on Wednesday June 11 2014, @03:37PM (#54188)
    Modern ADHD kids find the lecture/recitation/lab model boring, and pay more attention to blogs and videos which can be displayed on their iDevices. Although I guess it's difficult to argue against if it shows real results.
    • (Score: 1, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 11 2014, @04:10PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday June 11 2014, @04:10PM (#54199)

      No. What this really is, is:

      Prior: bored teachers presenting stale slides in the first mechanics course in mech. Classrooms of 300+ people* where there's no official or functional policy against electronics, and the students are often distracted by their own or their neighbours.

      Post: teachers who are gung-ho about a new system pour way more energy and time into it than the previous system, and are amazed when they get better results. Students seem more engaged because when they're on their electronics, they look like they might be accessing course material. 300 students in 5-person groups means that the snorers do get bootstrapped up.

      So - is the solution these new methods for teaching? Or is the solution "don't have bored teachers, 300+ person classrooms, and disallow electronics"?

      Source: primary. I went back to start an engineering undergrad. IMO the 19 year olds are about as mature as newly entering students a decade ago. Why are these children and not young adults? How can we possibly hope for maturity and life direction when they've been blindered their entire lives?

      *(if a question takes 30s to ask and 30s to answer, what % of students can ask questions while the instructor delivers 45min of material in their 50min slot?).