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Title: Hands on STEM Learning at Home with 3D-Printed Manipulatives
This NSF-IUSE exploration and design project began in fall 2018 and features cross-disciplinary collaboration between engineering, math, and psychology faculty to develop learning activities with 3D-printed models, build the theoretical basis for how they support learning, and assess their effectiveness in the classroom. We are exploring how such models can scaffold spatial skills and support learners’ development of conceptual understanding and representational competence in calculus and engineering statics. We are also exploring how to leverage the model-based activities to embed spatial skills training into these courses. The project’s original focus was on group learning in classroom activities with shared manipulatives. After a year of development and pilot activities, we commenced data collection in classroom implementations of a relatively mature curriculum starting fall 2019. Data collection ended abruptly in March 2020 when we had to shift gears in the context of a shift to online learning amid the COVID-19 pandemic. With uncertainty as to when the use of shared hands-on models in a collaborative in-person learning context would be feasible again, it was clear a change in approach would be necessary. We have since developed new versions of the models and associated curriculum designed for independent at-home use in the context of online learning. We implemented the new curricula in an online statics courses in fall 2020 and in multiple sections of online calculus courses in winter 2021. In this paper, we describe our strategies for implementing hands-on learning at home. We also present some example activities and compare the approach to the face-to-face versions. Finally, we compare student feedback results on the online activities to analogous feedback data from the classroom implementations and discuss implications for the anticipated return to face-to-face learning in the classroom.  more » « less
Award ID(s):
1834417
NSF-PAR ID:
10297087
Author(s) / Creator(s):
; ; ;
Date Published:
Journal Name:
ASEE Annual Conference proceedings
ISSN:
1524-4644
Format(s):
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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