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An Interactive Computer Tutorial For Strength Of Materials

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1998 Annual Conference


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 28, 1998

Start Date

June 28, 1998

End Date

July 1, 1998



Page Count


Page Numbers

3.93.1 - 3.93.7

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Paper Authors

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George H. Staab

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

Session 2668

An Interactive Computer Tutorial for Strength of Materials George H. Staab Associate Professor Aerospace Engineering, Applied Mechanics, and Aviation The Ohio State University 155 W. Woodruff Ave. Columbus, Ohio 43210

Fundamental mechanics concepts of statics, dynamics and strength of materials are central to the professional development of most engineering disciplines. The concepts taught in introductory mechanics courses are often difficult for students to visualize and fully grasp. Using interactive software, students are able to reinforce lecture and text topics in a self-paced manner. Software packaged with many texts has evolved to a level where sophisticated simulations of complex mechanisms can be used to illustrate motion and provide real time values for position, velocity, and acceleration of moving components. Although beneficial to those familiar with the topic, this type of presentation can be frustrating for someone attempting to learn the fundamental concepts of the subject. In the opinion of the author, software for introductory mechanics concepts should focus on illustrating theory, presenting relevant examples, and supply quizzes for users to work, while developing problem solving skills. Combining theory, examples, and quizzes allows students a wide range of options which can be used to repeatedly reinforce lecture and text topics. Exploration based education is beneficial if the explorer has a basic idea of what to look for and where it is located. Many students first encountering mechanics have problems identifying what is wanted, how to decompose the problem into simpler segments, and what information they need to solve the problem. For these students, a directed learning procedure similar to that presented as examples in most mechanics texts is an appropriate procedure. Software using an exploration based shell supported by a directed education base can benefit both the self-confident and unsure beginning student.

Staab, G. H. (1998, June), An Interactive Computer Tutorial For Strength Of Materials Paper presented at 1998 Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington.

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