San Antonio, Texas
June 10, 2012
June 10, 2012
June 13, 2012
25.178.1 - 25.178.9
Development of a platform for non‐structured mechanical engineering homework submission Since the late 1990’s, there has been an explosion of web based platforms for the submission and grading of homework. There are many advantages to online homework submission including (1) students obtain immediate feedback and (2) they can be used to randomize questions and eliminate blatant cheating. Many online homework systems such as WebAssign, CAPA, and Blackboard offer a wide range of question types such as multiple choice question formats, fill in the blank, and numerical answer evaluation. However, in the field of engineering, obtaining the correct answer is only part of the learning process. Students must learn to present their methodology in an appropriate manor, use clear and annotated diagrams, and they must learn to pay strict attention to notation and significant figures. Repeating this process over many homework problems encourages the development of a thorough and systematic thought process. Current systems are incapable of evaluating methodology or the presentation of a solution. In addition, the student enters a single number or selects a single answer from several choices and doesn’t pay much attention to notation or the thought process leading to the solution. As an alternative to the current systems, we will discuss the creation of a web based platform which allows for students to present the steps involved in their solution using correct notation, and obtain automatic and specific feedback at each step. The program is able to grade the homework in a systematic manner dependent on not only the correctness of the answer, but also on the presentation of the solution methodology. In addition, when learning to solve a problem, a student might form a hypothesis on solution methodology. With current web based systems, the student does not obtain feedback on these hypotheses until they form the solution and enter it into the system. At that point they may have taken several additional steps and have not obtained any feedback. Therefore, they do not know which step was in error. The presented platform allows students to test any intermediate hypothesis and obtain feedback while solving the problem. They may precede step by step, obtaining feedback along the way. The application of the platform to a statics course will be demonstrated and sample questions will be presented. In the end, students must be presented with problems that help them form their thought process. Current online homework problems do not do this. The proposed system is the first step in correcting a problem with online homework submission in engineering higher education.
Capaldi, F. (2012, June), An Online Engineering Statics Problem Set System Paper presented at 2012 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, San Antonio, Texas. https://peer.asee.org/20938
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