Clemson University: Engineering and Science Education

SCALE-UP in the College of Engineering and Science:

Faculty from the Departments of Engineering and Science Education (Lisa Benson), Civil Engineering (Scott Schiff), Mechanical Engineering (Sherrill Biggers), and Mathematical Sciences (Bill Moss) are collaborating on a study to implement the Student-Centered Activities for Large Enrollment University Programs (SCALE-UP) model in first and second year engineering courses.

With this approach, large studio classes are taught with an emphasis on learning by guided inquiry instead of on passive instruction. The SCALE-UP model promotes teaching in a student-centered environment, where the professorís role in the classroom is more of a facilitator and coach than that of an orator. An effective learning community is formed not only by having students work in groups, but also by having the students give and receive help outside their group; the groups themselves collaborate.

The program was initially introduced in the Physics Department at NC State as part of the NSF-funded Southeastern University and College Coalition for Engineering Education (SUCCEED) Program, of which Clemson University was a member. It was brought into engineering at Clemson by the General Engineering Program, which generated physical and instructional changes in classrooms across campus to promote active and collaborative learning. The current project in the College of Engineering and Science seeks to deliver and document more effective Statics and Dynamics instruction using the SCALE-UP model.

The project is also examining the benefit of integrating the content of the two traditional sequential courses and the parallel content in multivariable calculus. It is believed that students will better grasp the concepts of statics by treating statics as a special case of dynamics. The project was launched in 2005, and preliminary results indicate that it is has the potential to increase the rate of student success and conceptual comprehension in engineering courses. Preliminary results were presented at the 2007 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition in Honolulu, Hawaii.

Click on the links below to view research publications on SCALE-UP in Engineering and Science at Clemson University.

1. L. Benson, S. Biggers, W. Moss, M. Ohland, M. Orr and S. Schiff, Adapting and Implementing the SCALE-UP Approach in Statics, Dynamics, and Multivariable Calculus. Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the American Society for Engineering Education, St. Louis, Missouri (2007) (paper).

2. L. Benson, S. Biggers, W. Moss, M. Ohland, M. Orr and S. Schiff, Student Performance and Faculty Development in SCALE-UP Engineering Mechanics and Math Courses. Proceedings of the Annual Meeting of the American Society for Engineering Education, St. Louis, Missouri (2008) (poster).

 

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