June 18, 2006
June 18, 2006
June 21, 2006
11.145.1 - 11.145.12
AWESOME: A Web Enabled Study Of Mechanical Engineering
In this paper we present a dynamic, multi-media, web-based approach to student learning. Hyper-linked text and images allow students to guide their own education with regard to the intent and content of mechanical engineering courses and to discover the applications of particular courses and subject areas.
The goal of our research is not traditional engineering education as found in mechanical engineering courses such as dynamics, vibrations, and so on. In these courses the goal is to transmit a well deﬁned body of knowledge. A mechanical engineering major knows that he or she needs a particular course for graduation, they take that course and they absorb (hopefully) the material.
Our concern here is rather diﬀerent. We target students who have a broader and more diﬀuse set of needs. We answer the question of “why” and leave the class to provide the “how.” What is the point of taking a particular class and how does it ﬁt into a larger picture? These are the issues we try to address. Whether they are undeclared students trying to decide what discipline to enter, are freshman mechanical engineers wondering what courses to take or are upper level students wondering what this is all good for, they all face the same basic dilemma - how to get good answers to their questions. They want insight into what mechanical engineering oﬀers, how the courses interrelate and how the material they’ll be learning will be reﬂected in future jobs. This paper will examine the workings of a user-driven, multi-modal program that attacks these issues in a combination of ways.
3 Brief history and motivation
Year after year the ﬁrst author has heard similar questions. Questions such as “What courses should I take?” “I’m interested in becoming an automotive engineer - what electives would be most relevant?” “The syllabus for ME 104 lists orbital mechanics. Why should I care about this?” “What sort of jobs are there for someone who minors in vibrations?”
These examples are typical of students who’ve already, for one reason or another, have entered the mechanical engineering program. A new question, one which will likely become more widespread as the undeclared major becomes a more popular avenue into college, is
Tongue, B., & Lew, E. (2006, June), A Web Enabled Study Of Mechanical Engineering Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. https://www.jee.org/111
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