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Assessment Of Engineering Mechanics Instructional Software In A Variety Of Instructional Settings

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Innovations in Teaching Mechanics

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.237.1 - 9.237.17

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Paper Authors

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Richard Hall

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Nancy Hubing

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Vikas Yellamraju

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Ralph Flori

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Timothy Philpot

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

Session 3268

Assessment of Engineering Mechanics Instructional Multimedia in a Variety of Instructional Settings

Richard H. Hall, Nancy Hubing, Timothy A. Philpot, Ralph E. Flori, and Vikas Yellamraju

University of Missouri – Rolla

1 Abstract

Students from ten schools, representing seven countries, used interactive multimedia as a part of their engineering statics classes. The software consisted of four modules, which focused on: Mohr’s Circle; Centroid and Moment of Inertia; Stress Transformation; and Structural Analysis. The students completed on-line surveys about their experience with the software. Analysis of the results indicated that students rated their knowledge of the subject matter covered in the software as increasing significantly as a consequence of using the software. However, this increase was substantially more pronounced for students in U.S. schools. Students rated the software as significantly more effective than their class textbooks, and, again, this effect was substantially stronger for students in the U.S. The analyses also indicated that the software differed little in its impact on males versus females. Ratings on a number of additional outcomes were consistently positive with respect to student opinions of the software.

2 Introduction

Statics plays a foundational role in engineering education for many engineering disciplines. The subject builds on calculus and physics concepts involving vectors, systems of equations, equilibrium and integration, in order to solve new problems involving structures. The primary challenge to the statics instructor is to teach the correct application of just a few theoretical concepts. Hence, statics instructors tend to use many example problems to demonstrate the correct application of the theory. Difficulties involving time limitations and problems with visualization can arise when example problems require detailed drawings in order to convey the example properly. For this reason, classes in Statics are prime candidates as courses to be enhanced via multimedia learning tools [1, 2].

In order to address these instructional challenges, a group at the University of Missouri – Rolla has developed a series of multimedia modules, as part of a large scale multi-year project to introduce media-enhanced active learning into foundational classes in engineering [2-6]. Research thus far has indicated that these modules can be used to enhance instruction in a number of ways. They can be effective as an adjunct to class in the form of homework [7], or even as a substitute

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference and Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Hall, R., & Hubing, N., & Yellamraju, V., & Flori, R., & Philpot, T. (2004, June), Assessment Of Engineering Mechanics Instructional Software In A Variety Of Instructional Settings Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah.

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