2.002 - Mechanics and Materials II (Spring 2011, 2012, 2013);
1.101 - Introduction to Civil and Environmental Engineering Design I (Fall 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013);
18.354 - Nonlinear Dynamics II: Continuum Systems (Spring 2009, 2010);
18.384 - Undergraduate Seminar in Physical Applied Mathematics (Fall 2008, 2009);
18.02 - Multivariable Calculus (Spring 2008, Fall 2007);
2.002: Mechanics and Materials II:
Since Spring 2012, Prof. Pedro Reis and Ken Kamrin have been developing novel online educational tools for teaching Mechanics at the undergraduate level and integrating them into their class: "2.002 - Mechanics and Materials II". This project is in collaboration with Brandon Muramatsu from MITOEIT (MIT’s Office for Education Innovation and Technology).
In Spring 2012, 2.002 was the first MIT course to be offered concurrently on-campus and online. This was restricted to MIT students who, for a variety of reasons, had to be off-campus, e.g. semester abroad. Being able to offer 2.002 as a fully for-credit online class, or i2.002 as we call it, required the development and implementation of a number technologies and strategies, unique to online education. Moreover, this pilot project was designed as an educational experiment which was formally evaluated by MIT's Teaching and Learning Laboratory. Our experience was featured on the Workshop on MIT Online Learning and Residential Education in May 2012 as an example of the successful use of the current dynamism in online education to directly benefit MIT students.
For the Spring 2013 semester, we developed a new set of online education experiments. In particular, we provided students in our class with indexed and browsable video content, organized as a concept map, which allowed them to study and review the material in a modular format. We are also producing Virtual TA video content as a novel concept to assist students in their Problem Sets.
More information on this project can be found in the following articles:
"A new wrinkle in online education", Jennifer Chu, MIT News, April 3rd, 2013.
"Innovation in Education: MechE Goes Online", Alissa Mallinson, MechE Connects, Fall 2013.
We acknowledge funds from MITOEIT, MIT's School of Engineering and the Department of Mechanical Engineering.
1.101 - Introduction to Civil and Environmental Engineering Design I:
You can find out more detail about some education experiments on design that we did in 1.101, in the following paper that was presented at the Annual Conference of the American Society for Engineering Education, on June 2014:
- A.W. Epstein, S. Rudolph, H.H. Einstein, and P.M. Reis.
"Enhancing Design Students’ Comfort and Versatility in the Shop: A
Project-Based Approach." Proceedings of the American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference, paper # 2014-9085 (2014) [html, pdf].
In response to these concerns, instructors developed an introductory fabrication exercise, to be completed by all students in the class—a project specifically designed to increase the students’ comfort and ability in the shop and their familiarity with materials and techniques, in order to broaden the scope of their final design projects. Over the years the introductory project has been adapted and altered; on the basis of survey data, direct observation and reports from instructors of other classes, the authors believe this now to be an extremely effective and useful exercise. In its current format, teams of students build Archimedes-screw devices out of wood, PVC, acrylic and other materials, and they test these devices using modern sensors and image-processing equipment. Participation in the introductory project has demonstrably increased the students’ comfort in the shop and, perhaps more importantly, has progressively made students much more familiar with the tools, materials and techniques available to them. In response, their final class projects have shown increased sophistication and utility. Moreover, instructors of the next class in the CEE design sequence report that students leave this class better prepared than they did in the past—so much so that those instructors have been able to eliminate introductory exercises of their own. We here share details of the project and its evolution, in the hope that other instructors of similar classes, facing similar challenges, will find it useful.