College - Author 1
College of Engineering
Department - Author 1
Liberal Arts and Engineering Studies Program
Degree Name - Author 1
BS in Liberal Arts and Engineering Studies
Benjamin David Lutz, College of Engineering, Mechanical Engineering Department
Engineering statics is an important course and a prerequisite for many subsequent courses for many engineering majors. It is often students’ first exposure to technical engineering sciences. Most statics concepts are addressed in ways disconnected from students’ prior experiences and interests. Utility Value Interventions (UVIs) have been employed in fields like biology and chemistry to help students connect concepts in class and their lives outside the classroom. However, UVI usage in engineering so far has been limited. In this Senior Project paper, I will describe the process that the team Critical Research in Engineering and Technology Education (CREATE) and I used to translate UVI findings into motivational and interest-generating video modules for students in statics. I then explore themes in student feedback from pilot testing of this content. We designed these videos intending to help students make connections between statics concepts and themes found in our research. For our pilot study, I distributed the video module collection to students and faculty of all major disciplines. I used a quantitative questionnaire to investigate perceptions of usefulness, relevance, and potential to motivate or generate greater interest in statics concepts (e.g., “This video has the potential to help students become more interested in [statics concept]”). I collected data related to perceptions of the usefulness and helpfulness of the videos, as well as qualitative data in the form of free response prompts that ask respondents to provide more details or explanations for their responses (e.g., “Please describe what you find [interesting/confusing/exciting] about this video.”) I performed a descriptive analysis of our quantitative findings and leverage our qualitative data to help explain and offer a deeper understanding of our quantitative findings. This research will provide insight into what aspects, if any, of the motivational videos’ respondents perceived as helpful for making connections between statics concepts and their lives outside the classroom. Importantly, I used our findings to suggest revision plans and enhancements to the video modules to increase their potential for interest and motivation. By offering intentional opportunities and content for students to make connections between statics and their lives outside of the classroom, we hope to increase motivation and interest for students who might be struggling to make these connections on their own and ultimately become more engaged with the concepts themselves.