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An Interactive Distance Learning Course On Dynamics

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

Improving Statics and Dynamics Classes

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.212.1 - 8.212.8



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Paper Authors

author page

Govind Puttaiah

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



Govind Puttaiah(1) West Virginia University Institute of Technology Montgomery, WV 25136


An interactive distance learning course on Dynamics was developed and offered to groups of on- and off-campus undergraduate engineering students using a multi-media approach and a combination of teaching tools. The course was presented to a live audience on campus in a specially designed class room and transmitted to off-campus sites in real time using modern information transfer equipment. The paper describes a practical method of distance learning that overcomes problems associated with developing and teaching web-based engineering courses on-line.


Educators have always been interested in finding ways to improve the economy and effectiveness of classroom delivery, especially at the undergraduate level of higher education. Recent advances in information technology are prompting us to develop cost effective teaching methods and tools that were unthinkable only a few years ago. A number of US universities are now actively engaged in developing and teaching distance learning courses that are available simultaneously to large bodies of students at multiple locations. College education is no longer confined to university campuses but can be made available to every interested person anywhere there is a phone connection. However, contrary to the initial overly optimistic expectations, recent experience of those involved in actual delivery of technical courses shows that there are serious difficulties in teaching technical courses compared to teaching non-technical courses using ‘web based’ distance learning methods. The present case study confirms that the method of delivery is a critical factor in distance learning for its effectiveness and acceptance by the students. Secondly, from purely economic considerations, it appears that the engineering courses that have the best chance of success as distance learning courses are the basic mechanics courses with traditionally large enrollments such as Statics, Dynamics, Mechanics of Materials, and Fluid Mechanics. This paper presents the results of an experiment in teaching Dynamics, using a multimedia distance learning approach at a small college with student population located at three different campuses.

Multimedia Approach

A baccalaureate level engineering course on Dynamics was taught at West Virginia University Institute of Technology, using a multimedia approach with a multitude of instructional equipment. The equipment included: video cameras (V-TELR CamaraMan- Parker Vision), a ‘document camera’ (ELMOR Visual Presenter EV 400 AF), a ‘smart board’ (V-TELR ) and a ‘touch control panel’ (V-TELR ). The video cameras are controlled remotely by the instructor and are programmed to become operational, one at a time in recording the classroom proceedings on a video tape. They are positioned one for the instructor, one for the students in the on-campus classroom and one each at the (remote) off-campus classrooms. TV monitors, strategically located in the classrooms, display the proceedings in real time. The document camera is used to display (1) Professor and Chair, Mechanical Engineering Department

Puttaiah, G. (2003, June), An Interactive Distance Learning Course On Dynamics Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--12005

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