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A Visual Software Concept For The Thermo Fluids Discipline

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2000 Annual Conference


St. Louis, Missouri

Publication Date

June 18, 2000

Start Date

June 18, 2000

End Date

June 21, 2000



Page Count


Page Numbers

5.74.1 - 5.74.8



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Patrick A. Tebbe

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Christa Weisbrook

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 1566

A Visual Software Concept for the Thermo-Fluids Discipline

Patrick A. Tebbe Department of Engineering The College of New Jersey Ewing, NJ 08628

Christa Weisbrook Department of Mechanical Engineering University of Missouri Columbia, MO 65211


This paper gives an overview and preliminary results of a project to design new educational software for use in thermodynamics and fluid-related disciplines. In the past, educational software has been created for use as teaching aids, design tools, and even electronic textbooks. Where this project differs is in its emphasis on integration into the existing thermodynamics curriculum while simultaneously allowing improvement in teaching methods. Factors influencing the improvement of any course include a clear determination of course objectives and evaluative procedures. Comparison of the teaching and learning styles is another factor. Research shows that traditional teaching methods for thermodynamics leave gaps in the educational landscape. Whereas some software is designed independent of these considerations, the goal of this project is to fully integrate the curriculum objectives and knowledge of cognitive styles into the software development. Built around the programming environment of LabVIEW this material is intended to provide flexibility in the mode of presentation. Specifically, more active hands-on experience will be possible as well as a greater use of visual input. Most engineering students do not gain substantial hands-on experience in thermodynamics classes, due to time and equipment constraints. It is anticipated that use of the virtual instrument capabilities of LabVIEW will give students a closer approximation of real world experience through simulation.

Learning and Teaching Styles

Before presenting a description of the educational software it is necessary to review the basis for its use. Research has long shown that individuals behave and learn according to certain cognitive styles. The Myers Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) is one well known method of analyzing personality traits and behavior. It has been widely used in education to explore how students behave with regard to learning. Other methods exist which provide more emphasis on the individual’s learning strengths and weaknesses. One such learning style inventory is the

Tebbe, P. A., & Weisbrook, C. (2000, June), A Visual Software Concept For The Thermo Fluids Discipline Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri. 10.18260/1-2--8837

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