Resources for Instructors
An Historical Perspective
During the period from 1967 through 1975 Helen Plants and I wrote
a number of papers related to Programmed Instruction and teaching with
programs. Most of those papers, as well as a few by others, may be
The original instructors' manual for the Statics text can be found
at that link as A
The best way to assess learning outcomes for a prospective text,
other than reviewing hundreds of pages of student work, is to look at
the work the authors actually assign to their own students. Here are Samples of the Quizzes
which we gave our students and which were included in A Teacher's
Everything I have provided to you on
this website is also accessible to students. That is not
necessarily a bad thing. An important part of getting students to to
meet your instructional objectives is to let them know what is expected
Some of what we want them to know, definitions, rules, and basic
equations for example, we DO actually want them to
"memorize." (And isn't it a bit pathetic how many of them have
forgotten the Law of Cosines when they start Statics!) The more times
and ways we tell them "you will be tested on this" the more likely they
are to learn an essential item.
I also want them to know "I expect everyone who wants to pass this
course to be able to find the force in any member of a truss like
these." I have reached the point where "all pin-jointed trusses look
alike to me," but most students don't see things that way.
For a hundred years or more students have been sharing information
about instructors, quizzes and exams with fraternity members and other
close friends. Making more information public provides more equal
opportunity for all.
It is up to you to change questions appropriately so that your students
will encounter what they see as "new problems" on each test.
Here are links to two of the fonts I created for the book. They
sets of vector symbols using the bar notation. Right click the link to
download them, then, at least in my versions of Windows, you can
install them by dragging it to your Windows FONT folder. ARIALVEC.TTF
is based on the standard Arial font, Selectric_Vector.ttf is based on the
IBM Selectric type font I created to duplicate material in the original
book, and which I have used in problems in the text. You will need to
install both if you wish to edit my sample quizzes and examinations.
First Day Handout
I found a copy of the first day of class handout which we used
back in 1982. You can read it here in a somewhat revised .PDF document.
I have not reproduced the front page, but it was a form on which
student provided their names, majors, advisors, and information on
related courses. They signed the form. This way we had written
verification that they had attended class and claimed to have completed
prerequisites. Today I would add "preferred email address" and rules
forbidding any electronic communications during quizzes or exams.
1982 First Day Handout
When I taught Engineering Mechanics classes, on the first day of
class I would, of course, introduce myself, and hand out the course
syllabus. I would finish the class by having students take a "Skill
Inventory" which asked them to solve a number problems covering
prerequisite material. I would inform then that while I would be
demonstrating the prerequisite methods in class, I would not be
teaching them. In Statics I would tell they had a few days to get up to
speed on algebra and trigonometry and a month to catch up on simple
integration. In Dynamics and Mechanics of Materials I would tell them
they had several weeks to learn or relearn moments of inertia.
The Skill Inventories are not a good predictive test of student
performance. Most students catch up without problems. The information
collected is, however, useful in beating instructors in earlier courses
again. It may also be useful in defending your grading to a student who
refuses to take responsibility for inadequate preparation.
Dynamics Skill Inventory
Mechanics of Materials Skill Inventory
Mechanics of Materials Quizzes
Mechanics of Materials Exams
These pages contain various images from old exams, quizzes, etc. which
may be useful in preparing material for class use. The files are in
Mechanics of Materials
In the Works
Eventually I expect this page to include links to such things as:
- Suggested schedules for 15-16 weeks, MWF-Tu-Th
- Suggested schedules for combined Statics-Dynamics &
- A larger bank of Sample Quizzes (Post Tests) without
- A larger bank of Sample Examination Problems
- Design Problems
- Computer Problems ???
- PowerPoints ???
In preparing these works I have made use of the following programs:
The text was prepared in Open Office Writer, a component of the free
Open Office software package. Open Office will import from and export
to most other office packages. It will also Export to .PDF
for convenience in distribution.
I have generally used Micrographics Designer in the initial preparation
of drawings which were then exported as .JPG files and further edited
in Paint Shop Pro version 7.
Custom fonts were created with Type 2.2 by Alan Murray doing business
as CR8 Software Solutions. I made a direct purchase from
I would suggest the following programs if you do not have software
which meets your needs:
Open Office (freeware)
GIMP - The GNU Image Manipulation Program (freeware)