Document Type


Journal/Book Title/Conference

Research On Capitol Hill 2014

Publication Date


Faculty Mentor

Wade Goodridge


Statics is a gateway engineering course. Many students use their performance in a statics course to evaluate and judge their desire to continue within an engineering field. Students’ performance can be adversely impacted by misconceptions they may have regarding class content and analysis techniques. Feedback from instructors can help students navigate through their misconceptions. It is critical that this feedback be concise and timely to prevent a slip in self-efficacy, or an increase in their frustration. Both factors can negatively impact a student’s desire to persist in engineering. Implementation of online learning logs allows students a timely communication avenue that can reveal to the instructor indications of such factors. This study is designed to explore common misconceptions exhibited through learning logs in a pre-professional engineering statics class. Ninety student logs were consensually evaluated in a fall 2013 statics course delivered at Utah State University. A “discourse analysis” technique was used to review learning log data to discover student’s trouble areas within the class. Results indicate typical stumbling areas that students encounter in a statics course and allow insight into specific instruction areas that need to be refined to better deliver content to the class as well as individuals.