June 14, 2015
June 14, 2015
June 17, 2015
26.221.1 - 26.221.15
Application of Computer Simulation and Animation (CSA) in Teaching and Learning Engineering MechanicsApplications of computers in higher education include online education, virtual classrooms, E-learning, multimedia teaching, etc. Enhancing learning through the use of computer-based toolsis a widespread practice. Use of computer simulation and animation (CSA) in higher education isincreasing rapidly and has become a major research trend in engineering education at differentlevels of undergraduate education. In this paper, a comprehensive review is made of the existingliterature related to using CSA as a learning aid to teach engineering mechanics courses. Due tothe importance of basic engineering mechanics courses (i.e. statics, dynamics, and strength ofmaterials) numerous researchers have investigated ways to improve pedagogy in these coursesthrough novel pedagogical practices, including the application of CSA modules.This paper addresses two topics: (1) use of CSA as a learning tool in engineering education ingeneral, and (2) innovations and teaching methods used in the instruction of engineeringmechanics. The results show that the main characteristic of CSA modules that impacts learningis their visualization-enhancing dynamic element. Furthermore, the interaction feature fostersstudent involvement, which itself improves learning. CSA modules with interactive capabilitiesare much more effective for students than instructive animations. Nevertheless, CSA modulescannot be considered as the sole pedagogical resource since they cannot replace conventionalclassroom instruction. Most ideally, typical classes combined with novel improvements, such aspeer help or group problem solving, can be complemented by CSA modules. Finally, it is foundthat CSA modules mostly impact student learning at the conceptualization level rather than at thesynthesizing level; therefore, they can be more effectively used in basic engineering courses.
ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2015 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015