At a Glance


  • STEM
  • Engineering

Instructional Level

  • University


  • Analytical and Characterization Techniques

Tasks in Workflow

Social Plane(s)

  • Individual
  • Group

Type of Tasks

  • Discussing
  • Solving problems
  • Analyzing
  • Taking a quiz & test

Technical Details

Class size

  • Small (20-49)


  • Multiple class periods (2-3 classes)


In this case study students will dive deeper into the applications of material characterization.

The study uses real life examples to give students a more in-depth look at the analytics. Each case study is focused on a specific characterization technique, which is applied to real-life problems. Each study is spread out into three parts all with new data to interpret.

Students will have chance to look at the case study the night before but this is not required nor expected. In class the professor will begin explaining the first part of the case study, then the students will have to answer questions written on the case study. To do this the students discuss in teams. Since the material is completely new to them, the students will engage in explaining the material, all the while engaging in peer instruction. This case study can also be used to interpret material from other fields, for example, materials from astrophysics. The professor after about 7-8 minutes brings back the discussion and asks the different groups, and clarifies what the correct answers were. This continues for the remaining parts of the case study.

If you would like access to the quizzes or have questions about case study materials used in this activity, you may contact the instructor at

Instructional Objectives

  • To learn techniques needed for the interpretation of data and graphs
  • To better understand concepts that are otherwise difficult to understand

Workflow & Materials


Activity Workflow

View on CourseFlow

Contributor's Notes

Marta Cerruti

Marta Cerruti

McGill University, Montreal, QC

  • Students are more engaged in the material and can make connections to real world uses
  • The instructor should provide a lot of feedback and guidance during this activity
  • Any part of this case study can be used as a stand alone study. It can be graded using only attendance or a small quiz.
  • Professor should be actively listening and going around while students discuss to understand where they have difficulties

Applied Strategies


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