Exploring methods of teaching strength of materials to improve students understanding at Ho Polytechnic

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The main objective of this research was to identify and apply teaching methods that can improve students’ understanding of Strength of Materials at Ho Polytechnic. The specific objective was to create practical situations that will enable students to relate the concepts they have learnt to what pertains in practice. This study emphasizes the use of practical demonstrations, and field visits as the main components of a teaching strategy to improve the study of Strength of Materials at Ho Polytechnic. This study shows that the use of lectures, practical lessons, demonstrations, and field visits combined has resulted in considerable improvement in teaching, learning, and understanding of Strength of Materials at Ho Polytechnic This suggests that the method can apply to Building Technology courses in which students have to understand concepts that must be applied to practical situations. This study found that large class sizes have adversely affected students’ understanding in that continuous assessment has been inadequate and ineffective because of the volume of work involved for lecturers. The study has also found that lack of background knowledge in Mathematics is a factor impeding understanding.
A thesis submitted to the Department of Mechanical Engineering of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology, Kumasi in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the award of the degree of Master of Technical Education, 2001