Mechanical Design I & II

MEC E 260 (Mechanical Design I) and MEC E 360 (Mechanical Design II) immerse teams of 4-6 mechanical engineering students in the design process, while instructors assume the roles of clients and advisors.

Blended learning approach

The rationale for transforming this course into a blended learning format was to move theoretical knowledge content and quizzes to an online format, which would make in-class time available for more engaging and relevant activities. A blended learning format would meet the need for a state-of-the-art learning experience and individualized and efficient student feedback. The blended learning approach was to move portions of the course content to online tutorials, and to move a pre-test and midterm to an online format. Because of the experiential nature of the course, it does not lend itself well to a conventional, paper-based format where much face-to-face time is spent preparing students for assignments and exams. While face-to-face time was not reduced, it was now utilized to engage students in interactive activities, discussions and group work, and to explore real-world engineering design contexts. It also helped keep the course current and aligned with the rapidly evolving field of engineering design, and helped alleviate the strain of increased enrollment.

Content development team

  • Pierre Mertiny, Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering.
  • Cagri Aryanci, Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering.
  • Jason Carey, Associate Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering.
  • Brian Yang, Teaching Assistant, Department of Mechanical Engineering.

Sample resources in the course

The structure for this course was two morning lectures per week (Monday, Wednesday) and one afternoon 3-hour seminar/lab. During the 3-hour seminar, face-to-face time was used for experiential learning, such as group dynamics exercises, materials and component dissections, and discussions on different project phases.

Online elements developed for this blended course were:

  • Online pre-test – The online pre-test evaluated students’ knowledge of material covered in pre-requisite courses. While the pre-test was marked and students received feedback both online and in-class, students were given marks for completion only.
  • Tutorial videos – Based on their pre-test results and individual needs, students could access tutorial videos to help them review and clarify their understanding of pre-requisite concepts. The tutorial videos focused on developing conceptual understanding; extension and application of these concepts was the focus of the face-to-face component of the course. In addition to the tutorial videos, a series of shop safety videos were created and posted online for students to access throughout the course. Seventeen videos in total were created for this project. Here are a few of the them:
  • Online midterm – The online midterm replaced the traditional midterm exam and was formatted such that it could be marked electronically. Students were given feedback on their results both online and in class.

Face-to-face time was used for experiential learning, such as group dynamics exercises, materials and component dissections, and discussions on different project phases.

Resource development details

Video: Static and Dynamic Analysis [3:38]
This is an example in which existing content was used to develop the video.

Roles of content development team (~5 hours):

  • Modifying of existing material (0.5hrs).
  • Outline content and initial storyboarding to develop scripts. (0.75hr).
  • Develop the script, revise as necessary (based on feedback from CTL) (1hr).
  • Record audio (with assistance from CTL) using Audacity while adjusting script (1hr).
  • Storyboarding and directing of transition (1.25hrs).
  • View video drafts and request edits (0.5hrs).
  • Approve final video.

Roles of CTL:

  • Support instructor team in creating storyboard and script, as required.
  • Edit, revise and approve the script and storyboard.
  • Create formulas and symbol images using Codecogs.
  • Create video using VideoScribe and Camtasia Studio.
  • Edit and upload video (to YouTube, and then add link in eClass).

Total tech/production hours required for a video of this type was ~ 8.5 hours/min of video, 30 hours total. Time varied from video to video, given number of drafts and revisions, images and equations that needed to be created, etc.
Total hours required by the Educational Developer for a video of this type was ~2-3 hours.

 

Video: Drawing Free-body Diagrams [9:38]
This is an example in which new content was developed, adding time for the Instructor Team.

Roles of content development team (~11 hours):

  • Create/gather new materials, specifically finding four new examples and creating solutions (2hrs).
  • Outline content and initial storyboarding to develop scripts (1hr).
  • Develop the script, revise as necessary (based on feedback from CTL) (2hrs).
  • Record audio (with assistance from CTL) using Audacity while adjusting script (1.5hrs).
  • Storyboarding and directing of transition (2hrs).
  • View video drafts and request edits (1.5hrs for first edit; 0.25hrs for second edit).
  • Re-record audio (1hr).
  • Approve final video.

Roles of CTL:

  • Support instructor team in creating storyboard and script, as required.
  • Edit, revise and approve the script and storyboard.
  • Create formulas and symbol images using Codecogs.
  • Create video using VideoScribe and Camtasia Studio.
  • Edit and upload video (to YouTube, and then add link in eClass).

Total tech/production hours required for a video of this type was ~ 8.5 hours/min of video (9.5 min of video = 80.5 hours of tech time). Time varied from video to video, given number of drafts and revisions, images and equations that needed to be created, etc.
Total hours required by the Educational Developer for a video of this type was ~2-3 hours.

 

Video: Dynamic and Energy Engineering Analysis [4:47]
This is an example completed primarily by the Instructor Team with minimal support from CTL.

Roles of content development team (~7.5 hours):

  • Modify and expand on existing material (1hr).
  • Outline content and initial storyboarding to develop scripts (1hr).
  • Develop the script, revise as necessary (based on feedback from CTL) (1hr).
  • Record audio (with assistance from CTL) using Audacity while adjusting script (1hr).
  • Set up Template File for screencasting using PDF Annotator (0.5hr).
  • Record video for screencasting with Camtasia and PDF Annotator (1hr).
  • Initial notes to fit audio with video (1hr).
  • View video drafts and request edits (1hr for all edits).
  • Approve final video.

Roles of CTL:

  • Provide feedback on scripts, technical support and audio editing using Audacity (as required).
  • Compile audio and video in Camtasia Studio.
  • Upload video

Total tech/production hours for a video of this type was ~1.75 hours/min.
Total hours required by the Educational Developer for a video of this type: ~1-2 hours.

 

Video: Shop Safety – Bandsaws [4:02]

Roles of content development team (~9.5 hours):

  • Create initial script and initial plan for required footage (2hrs).
  • Initial footage of a shop safety tutorial, two people filming (3hrs).
  • Demonstrate safe shop procedures for video (recording completed by CTL) (2hrs).
  • Finalize script and record audio (2hrs).
  • Suggest video edits, as required (1hr).

Roles of CTL:

  • Record initial footage of a shop safety tutorial, develop script from footage.
  • Develop plan for recording (shots and images required).
  • Schedule shooting dates and times (with instructor team). Shoot video footage and images for finalized videos.
  • Edit video, overlay audio using Camtasia Studio.
  • Upload video.

Total tech/production hours for a video of this type was ~1.75 hours/min of video (4 min of video = 7 hours of tech time).
Total hours required by the Educational Developer for a video of this type was ~1-2 hours. In this case, the Ed Developer assisted with the script development.

Tools & additional information

AudacityTOOLS

VideoScribeTOOLS

CodeCogsTOOLS

CamtasiaTOOLS

MoodleTOOLS

Contact

Do you want to know more about the content?

Contact Details

Pierre Mertiny
pmertiny@ualberta.ca

Do you want to know how CTL can help you?

Contact Details

Phone: +1 (780) 492-2826
ctl@ualberta.ca