Title of Oral/Poster Presentation

The effects of computer simulation and animation on student learning of rigid body dynamics

Presenter Information

Oai HaFollow

Class

Article

Department

Engineering and Technology Education

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation

Abstract

Engineering Dynamics (ED) classes are known as challenging and demanding for undergraduate students majored in many engineering fields, including Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Civil and Environmental Engineering. The course is built upon the foundation and framework of mathematics and physics and requires students to have strong abstract thinking and reasoning skills. Rigid-Body Dynamics (RBD) is the second part of ED that investigates kinematics and kinetics of rigid bodies in motion. Engineering students constantly struggle with RBD knowledge that requires them to visualize abstract objects in motions. In traditional lectures, instructors use words, static pictures, and even gestures to describe abstract concepts and time dependent motions. However, this method of instruction is not always successful because depending on the individuals' prior knowledge and experiences in the domain, the conceptions students acquire from the lectures may not be aligned to what the instructors want to mean. The purpose of this study was to determine if students studying RBD with traditional instruction and interactive computer simulation and animation (CSA) modules have higher learning gains than students studying RBD with traditional instruction only. A set of ten CSA modules was developed and used as an intervention in a nonequivalent control group experiment at the College of Engineering to assess the effects of the CSA modules on students' learning gains of RBD. The reported results consisted of quantitative and qualitative data analysis to provide better understandings about student learning of RBD in two learning conditions as well as students' experiences and attitudes towards CSA modules.

Start Date

4-9-2015 2:00 PM

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Apr 9th, 2:00 PM

The effects of computer simulation and animation on student learning of rigid body dynamics

Engineering Dynamics (ED) classes are known as challenging and demanding for undergraduate students majored in many engineering fields, including Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Civil and Environmental Engineering. The course is built upon the foundation and framework of mathematics and physics and requires students to have strong abstract thinking and reasoning skills. Rigid-Body Dynamics (RBD) is the second part of ED that investigates kinematics and kinetics of rigid bodies in motion. Engineering students constantly struggle with RBD knowledge that requires them to visualize abstract objects in motions. In traditional lectures, instructors use words, static pictures, and even gestures to describe abstract concepts and time dependent motions. However, this method of instruction is not always successful because depending on the individuals' prior knowledge and experiences in the domain, the conceptions students acquire from the lectures may not be aligned to what the instructors want to mean. The purpose of this study was to determine if students studying RBD with traditional instruction and interactive computer simulation and animation (CSA) modules have higher learning gains than students studying RBD with traditional instruction only. A set of ten CSA modules was developed and used as an intervention in a nonequivalent control group experiment at the College of Engineering to assess the effects of the CSA modules on students' learning gains of RBD. The reported results consisted of quantitative and qualitative data analysis to provide better understandings about student learning of RBD in two learning conditions as well as students' experiences and attitudes towards CSA modules.