Mechanics Self-Efficacy

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In this project we are studying how web-based activities impact mechanics self-efficacy and achievement, both during learning and over the long run. These activities are being integrated into the course E14: Introduction to Solid Mechanics taught by Professor Sheri Sheppard and Professor Sarah Billington.


Research Goals

Our research goals are to:

  • expand the research literature on self-efficacy as tied to engineering education in introductory courses,
  • advance knowledge of the impact of online exercises on mechanics self-efficacy and achievement while considering variations in student backgrounds, interests and prior knowledge, and
  • offer insight into best practices in alternate pedagogical approaches to increase self-efficacy, motivation and confidence in pursuing a major in engineering.

We aim for our research to provide a model for embedding assessment into a course both for the benefit of students and instructors as well as for scholarship on teaching and learning. Our approach embodies the National Research Council's recommendations for creating learner-, knowledge-, and assessment-centered environments. The project, being lead by Dr. Peggy Boylan-Ashraf, includes a team of diverse expertise in cognitive psychology, mixed-methods research in engineering education, survey design and analysis, and faculty development.


National Science Foundation, RIGEE Program (EEC-1240367)

Hoagland Award Fund for Innovations in Undergraduate Teaching, Stanford University

Principal Investigator - Professor Sarah Billington (Civil Engineering)

Collaborators - Professor Sheri Sheppard (Mechanical Engineering) and Professor Emeritus Robert Calfee (School of Education)

Professor Billington's Lab


Evaluation of Impact of Web-based Activities on Mechanics Achievement and Self-Efficacy Professor Sarah L. Billington (Stanford University), Dr. Sheri D. Sheppard (Stanford University), Professor Robert C. Calfee (Graduate School of Education, Stanford University), and Dr. Peggy C. Boylan-Ashraf (Stanford University); Presented at ASEE, June 2014.

Example Curricula

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