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Sustainable Reform of an Introductory Mechanics Course Sequence Driven by a Community of Practice

Excerpt

As part of a broader effort to promote the sustainable adoption of evidence-based pedagogies at our institution, the three-course sequence consisting of Introductory Statics, Introductory Dynamics, and Introductory Solid Mechanics has been redesigned to (1) improve students’ low engagement and enthusiasm, (2) improve instructors’ experience and reduce their high workload, and (3) maintain and elevate the current standards for content. These three courses are the core second-year mechanics classes in our engineering curriculum, serving approximately 2500 students per year from seven engineering departments. To promote sustainability of the reforms, the courses were redesigned through a Community of Practice (CoP), consisting of faculty who collaborated closely to design and implement changes and who developed communal knowledge of the reforms. Evaluation of reforms focused on student satisfaction as expressed through surveys and focus groups.

1Introduction
2Communities of Practice for Reform
3A Case Study in Creating Sustainable Reform
4Evaluation and Outcomes
5Future Work
6Reflections and Recommendations
Acknowledgments
References

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