Learning about friction: group dynamics in engineering students’ work with free body diagrams
Journal article, 2014

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.


Maria Berge

Umeå University

Alexandra Weilenmann

University of Gothenburg

European Journal of Engineering Education

0304-3797 (ISSN) 1469-5898 (eISSN)

Vol. 39 6 601-616

Subject Categories

Accelerator Physics and Instrumentation



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