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The fourbar linkage is one of the first mechanisms that a student encounters in a machine kinematics or mechanism design course and teaching the position analysis of the fourbar has always presented a challenge to instructors. The goal of this research study is to compare the effectiveness of teaching fourbar linkage analysis to engineering students with two different methods. An experiment with undergraduate engineering students is conducted to methodically establish the teaching effectiveness of the projection method in comparison with the traditional half-angle method. In this study, we seek to quantify student performance in solving a fourbar linkage mechanism based on the time to solve and the correctness of the solution itself. In addition, we are also collecting students’ self-reported perception of each method for comprehensibility, effort to solve, and ease of implementation with calculation tools. The goal is to verify the research hypothesis that the projection method for fourbar linkages is easier to comprehend and easier to apply for solving problems. The study is conducted with twenty-seven participants who are randomly divided into two nearly equal groups A and B. Two different fourbar lectures are given, and two different problems are used in this experiment. The first lecture is about the half-angle method and the second lecture is about the projection method. After the first lecture, participants in group A receive Problem 1, and participants in group B receive Problem 2. After the second lecture, the distribution is reversed. For problem 1, group A is the control condition and group B is the experimental condition. For problem 2, group B is the control condition and group A is the experimental condition. From this study, we have found that the time required to complete problems using the projection method is significantly lower than the half angle method even if the participants perceive both methods to be equally useful. We have also found that the student performance is significantly better with the projection method on one of the problems, although there is no observed statistical significance on the total score for the other problem. Based on our observations from this study, we recommend that the projection method is at a minimum similar to, if not easier than, the half-angle method for teaching fourbar linkage analysis to undergraduate students.
Yazdi, A., & Sangelkar, S., & Constans, E., & Lahmann, J., & Halsey, B. (2022, August), Comparison of Two Teaching Methods for Analyzing Fourbar Linkages Paper presented at 2022 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Minneapolis, MN. https://peer.asee.org/41557
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