Incorporating Technology into the Traditional Engineering Mechanics Lecture
The advancement of information technology has provided faculty with many opportunities to adopt and incorporate it into traditional classroom teaching. However, the new technology is not always better. For many topics, the best strategy is still the traditional chalk-and-talk lecture. There are three critical requirements in getting new technology adopted on a large scale. 1. The new technology should be able to facilitate student learning and understanding. It should be better than a traditional lecture. 2. The new technology should be easy to use. Learning to use the technology should not create excessive work for the faculty member. Class preparation should take approximately the same amount of time as for a traditional lecture. 3. The new technology should be reliable and convenient. Dr. Carroll is currently using a technological method for teaching engineering mechanics courses that meets the criteria listed above. A key component to the method is that the faculty member projects complex figures on the board and then uses chalk (or markers or a smart board or a tablet) to modify the figures. This teaching method blends the traditional lecture with the new technology, utilizing the new technology to improve the quality of the traditional lecture. From the instructor's perspective, preparing the lecture takes approximately the same amount of time as preparing a traditional lecture. The use of technology has been well received by the students.
Carroll, Douglas R., and H. Sheng, "Incorporating Technology into the Traditional Engineering Mechanics Lecture," Presentation at the the American Society for Engineering Education Southwest Section Conference, Reno, NV, April 12-13, 2007.