Back to Table of Contents for the On Course I Workshop

1. Strategy: Wise Choice Process

Application: Introduction to Engineering: Understanding the Engineering Process

Educator: No Name Given

Implementation: Teach students the Wise Choice Process and have them practice it with a partner to solve a real problem each is now facing. Then discuss with the whole class how well the process worked to solve their problems. Next introduce them to the steps of the Engineering Process: 1) Identifying a need, 2) Defining the problem, 3) Conducting research, 4) Narrowing the research, 5) Analyzing set criteria, 6) Finding alternative solutions, 7) Analyzing possible solutions, 8) Making a decision, 9) Presenting the product, and 10) Communicating and selling the product. In pairs, have students compare the two processes for purpose and method. Then, in a whole class discussion, elicit the similarities of and differences between the two processes. Importantly, help students identify the purpose of these critical thinking processes: To identify a problem, design a plan for solving the problem, and evaluate the results.

2. Strategy: Toss a Test

Application: Engineering or Any Course

Educator: No Name Given

Implementation: The purpose of this activity is to help students review homework materials or review for a test. Buy small, soft balls at a craft shop.  Have students stand in a circle.  Ask a question and then throw a ball to a student.  The student with the ball must answer the question correctly in order to keep the ball.  If he/she answers incorrectly then he/she must throw the ball to another student to answer.  Ask students another question and throw another ball.  Student with the most balls at the end wins.

3. Strategy: Jigsaw

Application: Civil Engineering Technologies–Concrete Materials

Author: Greg Webster, Faculty, Civil Engineering Tech, Mid-State Technical College, WI

Implementation: Students in this course must learn four essential tests that are performed on fresh concrete:  air content, slump, compression cylinder, and flexural beam. Each one has a specific procedure dictated by national standards.  In a lab section of twelve students, form three home groups of four students each, with each student assigned as the expert on one of the four tests.  Experts on each test meet to learn the test and ensure they know the procedure.  Then, the class makes a batch of concrete so that each student can perform his or her designated test, comparing results within their expert groups to check for minimal variability.  Next, each student  in turn supervises the other students in their home group in performing the test on which they are the expert, until each student has conducted each of the tests.  Finally, test results are compared between groups to assess performance.

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