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Authentic Learning Environment with Flight Simulation Technology

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Pre-college Engineering Education Division Technical Session 18

Tagged Division

Pre-College Engineering Education

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Paper Authors


Chadia A. Aji Tuskegee University

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Chadia Affane Aji is a Professor in the Department of Mathematics at Tuskegee University. Dr. Aji received her Ph.D. and M.S. in Mathematics from Auburn University and a Bachelor in Chemical Engineering from Texas A&M University. Her research interests lie in the areas of numerical analysis, computational applied mathematics, complex analysis, and on improving students' learning in STEM disciplines. Dr. Aji is involved in retention activities at Tuskegee University. She helps designing strategies to assist incoming freshmen cope with first year mathematics classes. She developed teaching modules to improve students' learning in mathematics using technology.

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M. Javed Khan Tuskegee University

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Dr. M. Javed Khan is Professor and Head of Aerospace Science Engineering Department at Tuskegee University. He received his Ph.D. in Aerospace Engineering from Texas A&M University, M.S. in Aeronautical Engineering from the US Air Force Institute of Technology, and B.E. in Aerospace Engineering from the PAF College of Aeronautical Engineering. He also has served as Professor and Head of Aerospace Engineering Department at the National University of Science and Technology,Pakistan. His research interests include experimental aerodynamics, aircraft design and engineering education.

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The primary advantage of an authentic learning environment is to promote engagement with content resulting in improved academic performance and persistence. The use of technology can promote an authentic learning environment. However, rural school districts typically lack the resources for implementing technology-supported authentic learning. The research presented in this paper is based on the development and assessment of an authentic learning environment for three rural middle schools located in economically depressed counties. Flight simulation hardware and software were used to support the authentic learning of several math and science concepts and their relation to engineering. The effectiveness of the pedagogical approach was assessed using a quasi-experimental within subject research design. The intervention was a week-long professional development workshop for math and science teachers followed by a week-long summer camp for students. A total of 25 students were recruited from these middle schools. A total of 23 teachers were recruited from four school districts, three of which are rural and one is an urban school district. All students and teachers were from underrepresented groups. Data were collected using the Math and Science Teaching Efficacy Beliefs instruments for teachers, and a validated 65-item STEM attitude survey for students. A content knowledge assessment was also conducted for the students. Analyses of data from the professional development workshop and the summer camp indicated a positive impact of the teaching and learning technique. The teachers reported high self-efficacy in their ability to implement the approach in their classrooms. Assessment of students’ content knowledge showed increased understanding of the concepts taught with the approach. A positive attitude towards STEM was also reported by the student participants. This research is supported by NSF Grant# XXXXXXXX.

A. Aji, C., & Khan, M. J. (2020, June), Authentic Learning Environment with Flight Simulation Technology Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34198

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