Experiences with inquiry-based learning in an introductory mechanics course
Keywords:engineering education, inquiry, mechanics
AbstractInquiry-based learning is an educational approach that allows the student to take ownership over the education process by self-identifying a problem and formulating their own solution. The application of this method of teaching was explored in an introductory mechanics course taken by both engineering and engineering technology students. Students were tasked with applying the principles of fundamental static equilibrium analysis to objects found in their normal surroundings. The deliverable for this assignment consisted of a photograph of an object they found to be in static equilibrium and a short description of how the state of the object could be described mathematically. Student submissions for this task exhibited a wide range of quality and imagination. Examples of student work are presented along with discussion of lessons learned and recommendations for the use of this method in the future. The overall student response to this task was positive and thus these efforts will be expanded.
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