Difficult Bits


13-Jan-2014 01:51 PM

Teaching Resources Team

Posts: 5

We are working with Arlindo Silva of Instituto Superior T├ęcnico, Portugal on some new teaching resources designed to help engineering students with tricky materials concepts. An example might be the difference between Hardness and Toughness.

My question to you - what would be your top 10? What do your students struggle with? 

Thanks for your help.

Hannah Melia

(Teaching Resources Team Lead)

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14-Jan-2014 12:22 PM

Arlindo Silva

Posts: 1

The difficulties my students struggle with revolve around the differences between strength, stiffness, hardness and toughness (and others...).

One aspect that may have a bearing in this discussion is the fact that my students, although based in Portugal, have a textbook written in English and may experience numerous difficulties with the translation of engineering terms into Portuguese, but I feel that this is only part of the story.

Despite the fact that all textbooks explicitly show the concepts in a very didactic way, I find that students often take the "common sense" meaning of the words (or what they think common sense is) and disregard the "engineering" meaning of the words.

Does anyone feel the same?

What is your experience with this?

Do you find that there are concepts or definitions that are repeatedly difficult to grasp?

How do you cope with that?

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