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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."

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  • (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?).

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