The work described in this paper is part of a multi-year study that seeks to enhance students' ability to create 'models' successfully as they solve problems in Statics. The ultimate goal of the study is to understand the major difficulties that students encounter as they learn to model during problem-solving in Statics and to create interventions to help them more quickly overcome those difficulties. In the first phase of the study, more than 300 students completed three inventories: math skills, spatial reasoning and statics concepts. The results from the inventories were used to identify clusters of students with common characteristics, and therefore, presumably common deficiencies in their problem solving in Statics. Students from each cluster were then invited to participate in think-aloud problem solving sessions to identify the weaknesses in their problem solving. Analysis of the think-aloud sessions identified a number of common issues in students' knowledge and ability to create models, which are summarized in the paper. Based on these findings, the research team identified possible interventions to address the common issues. Two of these interventions were developed through a design experiments process in which they were tested with groups of up to 30 students, refined to enhance their effectiveness, and then re-tested. The interventions and the development process are described, and results from the final round of the design experiments are presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - 2008
Event2008 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - Pittsburg, PA, United States
Duration: Jun 22 2008Jun 24 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Engineering


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