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An Asynchronous Approach To Teaching Math And Engineering Software Within The Context Of A Course In Mechanisms

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Conference

2003 Annual Conference

Location

Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Integrating Math in Mechanical Engineering Curriculum

Page Count

15

Page Numbers

8.183.1 - 8.183.15

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/12649

Download Count

75

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Paper Authors

author page

Bob Freeman

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

An asynchronous approach to teaching Math and Engineering software within the context of a course in Mechanisms Abstract In this work we describe the use of interactive, web-based instructional technologies in conjunction with in a course in Mechanisms to teach math and engineering software, and vice-versa, the use of interactive, web-based instructional technologies in conjunction with math and engineering software to teach in a course in Mechanisms. The idea is to accomplish both the teaching of the course content and the use of math and engineering software without taking class time to teach the software. The guiding principle is to initially introduce the student one step at a time through only the parts of the software necessary to solve the specific problem at hand, be it a lecture concept/learning objective or a homework assignment. Then, after the student has developed a certain familiarity with the software, they can more readily use the software’s own more encyclopedic assistive materials to address new and more comprehensive tasks. The approach taken incorporates the use of “screen capture with audio” avi tutorials, along with a variety of interactive materials including; supplemental lecture notes, homework assignments and solutions, sample exams and exam solutions, and projects. Liberal use is also made of the software packages’ own assistive materials. The software “taught” includes MathSoft's Mathcad and MSC's Working Model 2D, with TechSmith's Camtasia used to create the “screen capture with audio” avi files. Examples demonstrating the delivery and instructional techniques used are given. The first two examples illustrate the interactive lecture and homework materials. The final example shows part of an interactive sample project involving the synthesis/design and subsequent analysis of a planar four bar linkage. Introduction The general demand for fewer hours in the curriculum without sacrificing content, along with the desire for the development of a working knowledge of math and engineering software, requires "new" delivery approaches. The development of a web-site with various modes/types of asynchronous tutorial material is the approach taken in this course. More specifically, Word documents with hyperlinks to “screen capture with audio” avi tutorials, and interactive Mathcad and Working Model 2D (WM2D) example "scripts" are used as the delivery modes. TechSmith's Camtasia is used to create the avi tutorials. This form of presentation is very effective for teaching GUI type software such as WM2D. While not as effective for Mathcad, it is still beneficial to the student to have a verbal dialog along with a "textual" presentation of how to access and use certain features of the software. Beyond the development of such asynchronous materials is the "Bottom Line": The students must want to use the materials. Our perspective is to first hook them with the utility of the software to solve problems and understand concepts through in-class demonstrations, then teach them the software in easily digestible bites using asynchronous tutorial materials that coincide with course assignments.

An outline of the course content followed by examples demonstrating the delivery and instructional techniques used are given. The first two examples illustrate the interactive lecture and homework materials. The final example shows part of an interactive sample project involving the kinematic synthesis and subsequent analysis of a planar four bar linkage. In order to more easily discriminate

Freeman, B. (2003, June), An Asynchronous Approach To Teaching Math And Engineering Software Within The Context Of A Course In Mechanisms Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. https://peer.asee.org/12649

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