June 26, 2011
June 26, 2011
June 29, 2011
Computers in Education
22.393.1 - 22.393.11
Creating and Implementing Cloud-Based Simulations to Enhance a Multivariable Calculus CourseThe Cloud resource at our university was used to enhance a large section of Multivariable andVector Calculus (MATH 275) taken by engineering majors. This section was developed to dealwith rapidly-increasing engineering enrollment. Our hypothesis was that curricula could besuccessfully delivered to a very large class (120 students) by augmenting instruction with Cloudresources and Clicker technology. Interactive exercises, hosted on the Cloud, were assignedinstead of traditional text-based homework. Exercises were developed by a team of faculty andgraduate students funded by a Hewlett-Packard Labs grant. Exercises were created usingMATLABTM and Working ModelTM software. Student satisfaction and perception of learningwere measured using Clicker-based surveys associated with each exercise.Cloud computing resources hosted on university workstations provide access to licensedsoftware used by STEM students, such as MATLABTM, Working ModelTM, and SolidWorksTM.University students access the Cloud resource using the same user id’s and passwords that theyuse to access other University resources. Remote Graphics Software (RGS), available fromHewlett-Packard, enables students to remotely access any software made available to them onthe Cloud. Moreover, RGS enables the students to work together on the same file. Finally, RGSSender software enables the host computer to do most of the video processing, so that the remoteuser can run graphics-intensive software using a low-end PC or thin client without performanceimpairment. The Cloud was hosted on 16 Blade servers provided by a Hewlett-PackardInnovations in Engineering (IOE) award.In order to take full advantage of the Cloud resource, exercises must be properly structured to beboth interactive and team-based. Therefore, we developed a rubric for creating topic-focusedsimulations which strongly encouraged teamwork. We found that the simulations wereaugmented by a communications mechanism such as Google Chat or Google Wave, whichenabled the team to interact using an open chat window. Further, our team developed a routinewhich automatically graded and recorded student work on each exercise. Our project will resultin a suggested template for creating Cloud-based STEM activities.
Guarino, J., & Chyung, S. Y., & Adams, C., & DeLeon, R., & Scheepers, M., & Castellon, F., & Wiedenfeld, M. G., & Williams, P. (2011, June), Creating and Implementing Cloud-Based Simulations Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. https://peer.asee.org/17674
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