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Learning about friction: group dynamics in engineering students’ work with free body diagrams

Journal article
Authors Maria Berge
Alexandra Weilenmann
Published in European Journal of Engineering Education
Volume 39
Issue 6
Pages 601-616
ISSN 0304-3797
Publication year 2014
Published at The Linnaeus Centre for Research on Learning, Interaction, and Mediated Communication in Contemporary Society (LinCS)
Department of Applied Information Technology (GU)
Pages 601-616
Language en
Links dx.doi.org/10.1080/03043797.2014.89...
Subject categories Accelerator Physics and Instrumentation

Abstract

In educational research, it is well-known that collaborative work on core conceptual issues in physics leads to significant improvements in students’ conceptual understanding. In this paper, we explore collaborative learning in action, adding to previous research in engineering education with a specific focus on the students’ use of free body diagrams in interaction. By looking at details in interaction among a group of three engineering students, we illustrate how they collectively construct a free body diagram together when learning introductory mechanics. In doing so, we have focused on both learning possibilities and the dynamic processes that take place in the learning activity. These findings have a number of implications for educational practice.

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