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Stephen Crown, UTPA, Mechanical Engineering


Track: Track 1: Innovations in Online Teaching and Learning ... efficiency in early courses can stifle attempts at innovation in later courses ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Stephen Crown, UTPA, Mechanical Engineering

  • Challenge-Based Instruction Transferring the
    Tools to Multiple Learning Environments
  • Stephen Crown, UTPA, Mechanical Engineering
  • Timothy Hill, SJSU, MIS
  • Deborah Crown, SJSU, College of Business

  • Challenge-Based Instruction Transferring
    the Tools to Multiple Learning Environments
  • Track Track 1 Innovations in Online Teaching
    and LearningPresenters Stephen Crown, Tim Hill,
    Deborah CrownLocation Bayshore Foyer Date
    Friday August 14th 2009, 445 pm to 545 pm
  • Challenge-Based Instruction (CBI) has been
    piloted in education for the hard sciences, and
    is emerging as an effective means of fostering
    adaptive expertise and students ability to
    innovate. This session will examine the
    principles of CBI, highlight examples of CBI
    application successes within STEM, and consider
    how the unique advantages of CBI might be
    realized in business education and other
    disciplines. Learning circles will also be used
    to explore how CBI might be used within other
    fields of study. Finally, we will open up
    discussion regarding effective strategies for
    increasing faculty commitment to this and other
    emerging instructional advancements.

  • Introductory exercise
  • Presentation of CBI
  • How People Learn
  • Legacy Cycle
  • Implementation (VaNTH and CCRAA)
  • Examples
  • Designing a Challenge
  • Learning Circles
  • Summative Assessment

Vegas Card Game
  • Pick the four of spades and win 25
  • 10 to play
  • Dealer reveals one card (5 to change your mind)

Vegas Card Game
  • The Challenge Determine the appropriate odds for
    this Vegas card game and present a convincing
    report to Vinnie. Note Dont mess with

Vegas Card Game
  • What are the odds? (Probability and Statistics)
  • How can you prove it? (LabView Simulation)
  • Should you play this game? (Efficacy and Learning)

The Need for Curriculum Reform
  • Some minority students lack an equitable number
    of career influencers and role models within
    their families and familiar networks
  • The lack of significant real world connections
    to classroom learning early in the curriculum is
    one reason why minority-STEM students decide to
    drop-out or transfer out of STEM undergraduate
  • Focusing primarily on efficiency in early
    courses can stifle attempts at innovation in
    later courses

LabView Programming Language
LabView Programming Language
Student Projects Heat Transfer Fin Solver
Battle Tanks Four Function Calculator Home
Alarm System Hang Man game GPA Calculator
Memory Game Drinking Game Lottery Game
Temperature Measurement Heliocentric Model of
the Solar System Battery Tester Filter
Experiment Guitar Tuner Drinking Game
Challenge Based Instruction- CBI
  • A form of inductive learning, has been shown to
    be a more effective approach to the learning
    process than the traditional deductive pedagogy
  • Built around the How People Learn (HPL)
    framework as realized by the STAR Legacy cycle
  • Bransford, J. D., Brown, A. L., Cocking, R. R.
    (Eds.). How people learn Brain, mind,
    experience, and school. Washington, DC National
    Academy Press (1999)
  • Schwartz, D. L, S. Brophy, X. Lin, and J.D.
    Bransford, Software for Managing Complex
    Learning Examples from an Educational Psychology
    Course, Educational Technology Research and
    Development, Vol. 47, No. 2, 1999, pp. 3960.

Challenge Based Instruction- CBI
  • Teaching backwards Problem/Challenge first,
    supporting theory second
  • Focuses on student retention and student
    adaptive expertise
  • Emphasis placed on formative assessment
  • Makes full use of technology to provide
    asynchronous feedback, support, and instruction

How People Learn - HPL
  • A knowledge centered environment provides
    students with tools to organize knowledge that is
  • A learner centered environment works within the
    context of what students already know and
  • A community centered environment gives students
    the opportunity to learn through interactions
    with peers, the instructor, and the professional
  • An assessment centered environment relies on
    formative assessment to provide the student with
    feedback on their learning through correction and
  • The learning environments are complimentary and
    should all be present in effective student
    learning environments

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Legacy Cycle
  • The Challenge A real life and open ended
    question that engages students and brings them to
    a place of inquiry about specific course content.
    Challenges generally grow in complexity with
    each cycle and draw on previous course content.
    Learner centered.

Legacy Cycle
  • Generate ideas Students are asked to generate a
    list of issues and answers that they think are
    relevant to the challenge to share ideas with
    fellow students and to appreciate which ideas
    are new and to revise their list. Learner and
    community centered.

Legacy Cycle
  • Multiple perspectives The student is asked to
    elicit ideas and approaches concerning this
    challenge from experts. Community and knowledge

Legacy Cycle
  • Research and revise Reference materials
    including lecture content to help the student
    reach the goals of exploring the challenge and to
    revise their original ideas are introduced here.
    Typically this step and the next are revisited in
    several iterations. Knowledge and learner

Legacy Cycle
  • Test your mettle Formative assessment is used to
    direct students to review previous step or to
    return for additional instruction. Summative
    instructional events are presented before moving
    on to the final step. Knowledge, learner, and
    assessment centered.

Legacy Cycle
  • Go public This is a high stakes motivating
    component introduced to motivate the student to
    do well. Knowledge, learner, and assessment

Implementation - VaNTH
  • VaNTH Engineering Research Center
  • http//

Implementation - CCRAA
  • College Cost Reduction and Access Act (CCRAA)
    grant from the US Department of Education for
    Hispanic serving institutions (HSI)
  • 100 million / yr
  • 2 years of funding
  • Focus on STEM and 2 and 4 year institution

South Texas Initiative
  • Increasing Student Access, Retention, and
    Graduation Through an Integrated STEM Pathways
    Support Initiative for the Rio South Texas
  • Collaboration between The University of
    Texas-Pan American (UTPA) and South Texas College
    (STC) to facilitate student engagement and
    success in STEM areas
  • Project Goals Increase enrollment, retention,
    and graduation rates in STEM fields
  • 1.2 Million / yr
  • October 2008 - September 2010

South Texas Initiative
  • UTPA
  • South Texas (Edinburg, Texas)
  • Component of the University of Texas System
  • Comprehensive University
  • 17,500 students, 85 are of Hispanic, mostly
    low-income, primarily commuter students
  • 76 are also first-generation college students
  • STC
  • Similar student demographics to UTPA
  • Began as Community College (STCC) in 1993.
  • 22,000 students
  • Two Bachelors degrees (Applied Technology and
    Technology Management)

CBI Implementation
  • 80 faculty trained in CBI
  • Students exposed to CBI in 80 STEM courses
  • CBI fully integrated into 10 courses supporting
  • Calculus I and II, Physics I, Introduction to
    Engineering, Statics, Dynamics, Engineering
    Graphics, Mechanics of Solids, Measurements and
    Instrumentation, Introduction to STEM

CBI - Curriculum Reform
  • NSFs VaNTH ERC studies have shown student
    learning improvement (in particular, AE) within
    the Biomedical Engineering student populations of
    its core institutions (Vanderbilt-Northwestern-Tex
  • One common course at UTPA (Intro. to Comp.
  • Technical elective at UT-Austin and at UTPA
  • UTPA course comprised of VaNTH CBI learning
  • Effect size indicates a 78 probability that a
    student from the UTPA (experimental) group will
    learn a greater amount than a student from the UT
    Austin (control) group

CBI - Faculty Development
  • Train, mentor, and support a cadre of highly
    qualified STEM faculty in innovative inductive
    teaching methodologies that will have a broad and
    measurable positive impact on STEM faculty and
    students (i.e., LC implementation of HPL inspired
  • Two-day workshops on the theory, impact, and
    design of CBI methods (by key VaNTH personnel)
  • Mentoring workdays provided on CBI
    implementation, and faculty support through a
    web-based Teaching Toolbox
  • Participant stipends

CBI - Faculty Development
CBI Designing Challenges
CBI Learning to use Technology
Outcomes - Faculty Development
  • Faculty receive over 20 hours of mentoring and
  • Faculty will have developed CBI content that can
    be delivered and assessed in 80 courses
  • Widespread implementation of CBI will allow for
    a study of its overall impact on teaching
    effectiveness and efficiency in learning
  • The expected outcome is that this implementation
    of CBI will produce a measurable increase in both
    student learning, retention, and adaptive

Example in Statics
Your companys bridge has failed and it is your
job as the new design engineer to determine what
could have caused the failure of the bridge and,
as much as possible, defend the company. Is your
company liable for the accident?
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Examples in Engineering Graphics
How do you design and create a challenging and
entertaining cube puzzle?
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Virtual CAD World
A call has gone out to the people of the local
villages to assemble a force that will drive out
the rebel group occupying the fortress.  There is
a need for new recruits to be trained in the use
of CAD (Computer Aided Design).  New recruits are
to report to Caius in the training center at
once.  Enjoy your time here but take your
training seriously as future generations of the
virtual world are depending on your success.
Virtual CAD World
Virtual CAD World
You and your classmates are invited to take up
residence in one of the local villages.  To get
started first pick up a housing application at
the next window.  The clerk behind the sales
counter will be able to help you in the purchase
of a home.  Your home is a place where you can
display your individual work.  Visitors will
periodically enter your home to view your work so
take to keep it orderly and appropriate for
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Designing a Challenge
  • Identify significant course objectives and
  • Ensure that formative and summative assessment is
  • Students must have some insight as to addressing
    the challenge (ideas, concepts, etc.)
  • Students must recognize deficiencies in their
    understanding of related concepts
  • Challenge must engage students
  • Challenge should be a real world problem

Critical Thinking Skills It is imperative to
develop a child's critical thinking skills. By
developing a child's critical thinking, they
become better able to respond to problems
presented to them. Through this challenge, the
child will be better able to analyze information
presented to them and develop an independent
solution with reason.
Learning Objectives
  • Primary Objectives - By the next class period
    students will be able to
  • Understand the benefits of playing a game with a
    plan in mind
  • More effectively participate in critical thinking
  • Sub Objectives - The objectives will require that
    students be able to
  • Express their ideas without reserve
  • Willingly desire to triumph in critical thinking
  • Difficulties - Students may have difficulty at
    first in understanding the strategy presented to
  • Real-World Contexts - Good critical thinking
    skills benefit one by allowing them to see
    problems differently and think things through so
    that they may form a solution.

Model of Knowledge
  • Concept Map
  • Content Priorities
  • Enduring Understanding
  • Understand how to solve higher level critical
    thinking skills problems
  • Important to Do and Know
  • Formulate ideas independently
  • Worth Being Familiar with
  • Describe a persons physical attributes when
    presented with a photograph

Assessment of Learning
  • Formative Assessment
  • In Class (groups)
  • Students will play the "Guess Who" game
  • Summative Assessment
  • Students will play "20 Questions"

The Challenge
How can one play the Guess Who game and be the
first one to guess the correct person / thing?
Learning Circles
  • Break into 3 groups
  • Discuss Do you believe that CBI might have a
    positive impact on learning in your field of
  • Discuss What obstacles do you envision?
  • Discuss What is a possible challenge question
    for a course you teach?
  • Discuss How might you use technology with CBI in
    your own fields, programs, courses?

Summative Assessment
  • Reporting back by groups
  • CBI in your field
  • Obstacles
  • Challenge questions
  • Interface of technology
  • Building a Network
  • Conclusions