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Assessment Of Performance For Engineering Technology Students On Computer Aided Engineering Software Usage

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1999 Annual Conference


Charlotte, North Carolina

Publication Date

June 20, 1999

Start Date

June 20, 1999

End Date

June 23, 1999



Page Count


Page Numbers

4.97.1 - 4.97.8

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Daniel M. Chen

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

Session 3148

Assessment of Performance for Engineering Technology Students on Computer-Aided Engineering Software Usage

Daniel Chen Central Michigan University

I. Introduction

Today, most of the computer-aided engineering (CAE) software packages available in the market are more intuitive to use. It is easier for one to know what the software is doing with visual feedback at every step. Although these window-driven software are becoming more sophisticated in terms of capabilities, they are expected to be easier to learn. It is ideal for an engineering technology student to acquire the CAE skills , because a CAE software can provide very accurate results without dealing with in-depth theories and complex mathematical calculations. Many students in engineering technology have already had the experience in this area. They have started taken the courses which incorporate CAE software. The purpose of this study is to assess their learning outcomes via the evaluation of classroom and laboratory performance.

At Central Michigan University, the CAE course was originally developed eight years ago for mechanical engineering technology majors. Nevertheless, more students in both industrial technology and computer-integrated manufacturing (CIM) today want to take this course even it is not required for their majors. Most of the industrial technology students in CAE class had a concentration in mechanical design and engineering graphics. CIM is an interdisciplinary major that requires twenty-four credit hours each from industrial technology and computer science. Since the students enroll in the CAE class have quite diversified backgrounds, it would be interesting and beneficial to find out how well each student group has learned due to its specific background. The goals of this study can be fulfilled by answering the following two questions: (1) Do engineering technology students have necessary skills to perform CAE work at the completion of the course? and (2) How well do engineering technology students perform as a group? The comparison is made among the groups of engineering technology, industrial technology and CIM. The assessment was primarily based on the quantitative evaluation of each group’s performance from the tests and laboratory work.

II. Performance in Finite Element Analysis

Since students were required to complete all assignments for the CAE class using application software SDRC/I-Deas, the assessment of students’ performance was, therefore, focused on the usage of I-Deas for engineering analysis 1. It included the topics in finite element analysis (FEA) and mechanism design. FEA is a simulation process that predicts stress and deflection by dividing the structure into a grid of “elements” to form a model of real structure. Figure 1 shows the procedure required for completing such a process using I-Deas. The evaluation was carried out in a number of areas according to the flowchart in Figure 1. These areas include: (1) FE Model Create & Model Solution, (2) Boundary Conditions, and (3) Meshing.

Chen, D. M. (1999, June), Assessment Of Performance For Engineering Technology Students On Computer Aided Engineering Software Usage Paper presented at 1999 Annual Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina.

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