Hands-on project strategy for effective learning and team performance in an accelerated engineering dynamics course

Anu Osta, Jennifer Kadlowec

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


For many engineering undergraduate students a first course in Dynamics is often challenging when learning about the fundamentals concepts, basic Newtonian physics, and associated mathematical tools like vector algebra, trigonometry, and calculus. For educators the challenge is, motivating the students and making the learning process enjoyable. A simple hands-on activity to supplement the classroom content could greatly aid in student learning. At Rowan university an engineering dynamics accelerated course is offered every fall semester catering mainly to the sophomore students in which the content from a traditional 15-week, 3-credit class is compressed into a shorter 7.5 week, 2-credit class. For the Fall 2015 semester a project component was added to study the impact of a hands-on activity towards learning effectiveness and team work among students. Four or five member student teams conducted an air-cannon experiment based on projectile motion, energy and momentum conservation theory. The corresponding range and the time of flight was measured and compared with the theoretical values obtained from standard equations of motion therefore isolating the drag effect on the projectile flight characteristics. Each team was surveyed on how well they thought such an activity fulfilled the ABET learning objectives as well as its effectiveness on peer collaboration and team work. The survey results when compared with the final course grades shed some valuable light on the relationship between a student's perception of the effectiveness of this activity on learning, and the actual student performance on the exams. This paper will present the description and outcomes of this project in detail.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - Jun 26 2016
Event123rd ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - New Orleans, United States
Duration: Jun 26 2016Jun 29 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Engineering(all)

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