Author Archives: R. Brybag

Chapter 3 Response

  1.    Are your students at the associates or baccalaureate level?

Associates Level

  1.    Do you use different teaching strategies for associate level students than for baccalaureate level students? Why or why not?

If I was teaching on two levels, I think I would teach the BTech level differently since the students would have more exposure to draw on for discussion. I think I would try to push their thinking more with assignments, trying to explore their creativity in approaching solutions.

  1.    What is metacognition and what concept from the chapter resonates with you and why? (identify the page number)

Metacognition is “thinking about thinking”. What resonated with me was the discussion on page 26, how ‘it is not what we say to our students, but it’s about what they hear’. I do find myself sharing examples of how I see things and what helps me understand, but I see the importance of asking them more about their connections to the material to better gauge their understanding and see what is “the most efficient path for them”.

  1.    What are other factors that might influence student learning?

Other factors that may influence student learning is their desire/motivation to learn the material. If a student feels that a course/topic is not relevant to their career path, they may view it as a class that they just need to pass and never use again. In teaching fluids, I try to draw some motivation by highlighting how fluids ties into the five major civil topics (for the PE). For example, we discuss how a structural engineer may be concerned with water inside a tank being designed or a construction manager may be concerned with water on site after a storm.

  1.    How can metacognition help us towards our goal of increasing retention 5-10% starting in the fall?

Metacognition can help retention by boosting confidence of students. An example in the book noted how a student may withdraw and stop attending classes if they do not feel they do not understand the material (and maybe feel helpless to change). Also, having students realize they can achieve a higher level of understanding may inspire them to reach for higher goals (perhaps going on to obtain a BTech instead of stopping at the Associates degree).


From my teaching experience I have learned to remember to reinforce the new material (concepts and equations) as well as still remind the student to be mindful of their base knowledge (converting units for example). I was shocked after one exam when i saw I had a group of students who had all the engineering concepts applied correctly and had errors when it came to converting the units, even though units were discussed as part of the first lecture.

I do think I need to increase awareness (my own and the students) of the learning process, to help students think about the way they are thinking. I do try to present information in different ways to encourage them to think about the concepts but I need to follow up more with questions of how they understand the concept rather than explain my understanding over and over.


Chapter 2 Response

What is one teaching strategy you use?

Using examples of when a calculation may be used to understand its role in design/analysis. I support discussions with visual examples (from your tube for example). Also, I discuss what role each variables plays in an equation, how they impact the over all solution to the problem.

What is one learning strategy your students could use to be successful in your course?

Completing the suggested practice problems to try at home so they can assess what concepts they are struggling with.