Panel session - Improving learning and retention in introductory statics

Christine Valle, Wendy C. Newstetter, Edward E. Anderson, Thomas A. Litzinger, Sheri D. Sheppard

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Statics is the first engineering class mechanics-based majors encounter. It tends to operate as a "weeder" course, due to most students' difficulties in learning the engineering approach to problem solving, which is characterized by model-based reasoning. Difficulty in model-building can cause a lack of confidence and a diminished sense of self-efficacy that is particularly problematic when amplified by gender and under represented minority (URM) issues. Many valuable attempts have been made in the past at developing new tools to help students learn modeling, and develop engineering intuition. The goal of this panel is a two-pronged discussion: on the one end, present and discuss the most pertinent and intractable challenges associated with Statics learning that students encounter; on the other, present and discuss various interventions, technological or otherwise, that the panelists have attempted and/or developed to remedy the situation. Ideally the panel outcome will be to define pathways for developing and disseminating cognitively-based interventions that better supports learning and retention of all engineering students.

Original languageEnglish
Article number4720680
Pages (from-to)F3G1-F3G2
JournalProceedings - Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE
StatePublished - 2008
Event38th ASEE/IEEE Frontiers in Education Conference, FIE 2008 - Saratoga Springs, NY, United States
Duration: Oct 22 2008Oct 25 2008


  • Retention
  • Software
  • Statics
  • Women and under-represented minorities


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