Interactive Web-based Simulation Learning Modules: A Study of Their Effects on Students' Problem Solving in Particle Dynamics

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Ning Fang


As a powerful learning tool, computer simulation has received growing attention and wide application in the engineering education community. However, relatively few studies have been conducted on computer simulations in engineering dynamics. This study develops, implements and assesses a web-based interactive computer simulation in a foundational undergraduate engineering dynamics course. This simulation integrates animation and mathematical modeling to establish the relationship between graphical and algebraic representations of dynamic problems. Through it, students are able to build a deep understanding of abstract equations and concepts. Two simulation modules are developed to help students learn how to apply the Principle of Impulse and Momentum to particle dynamics problems. A quasi-experimental research design is implemented to assess the effects of the simulation on students' learning. This presentation will describe the architecture, the research methodology and the preliminary results of this simulation.

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