Teaching, learning, and assessment resources for introductory materials science and engineering courses

Stephen Krause, Jacquelyn Kelly

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


In order to make innovative curriculum materials more accessible to instructors, a set of teaching, learning, and assessment resources have been created to implement more student-centered pedagogy for many topics in an introductory materials course. The resource development has been based on major principles for effective learning described in the book, How People Learn. The book states that, for more effective teaching and learning, instructors need pay attention to three major principles. One is that they should be aware of students' prior knowledge and experience and misconceptions in order to inform classroom instruction and materials. As such, we have created tools to assess prior knowledge including the Materials Concept Inventory and Pre-Post Topical Concept Question Sets. Eliciting such information is critical in informing creation of innovative and misconception-informed teaching materials. A second principle is that instructors should create opportunities for student engagement with one another in order to promote conceptual change with deeper content understanding. This will help students build a conceptual framework that facilitates recall and transfer of concepts to new applications. As such, we have created visually-rich, contextualized content to promote student interest and link abstract concepts to concrete applications. The constructivist materials and activities that have been created include: Misconception-Informed Mini-Lecture Slide Sets, topical concept-context maps, a variety of classroom engagement activities, and homework that includes just-in-time preview problems to prepare students for the next class. A third principle is that instructors should promote student reflection so they become more metacognitive learners who can develop their own expertise by defining learning goals and monitoring their own progress. This need was addressed with a Daily Reflection Points sheet that requested students to write down their own class Points of Interest, Muddiness, and Learning. Most of these resources are available on the web at http://conccpt.asu.edu/. Assessment results showed significant gains on specific course topics using the innovative materials and an increase in persistence of students completing the class that rose from 85% to 95% compared with earlier lecture-based classes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationForum on Materials Education and Evaluation - K-12, Undergraduate, Graduate and Informal
Number of pages6
StatePublished - Dec 1 2011
Event2011 MRS Spring Meeting - San Francisco, CA, United States
Duration: Apr 25 2011Apr 29 2011

Publication series

NameMaterials Research Society Symposium Proceedings
ISSN (Print)0272-9172


Other2011 MRS Spring Meeting
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco, CA

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Materials Science
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • Mechanical Engineering


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