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Developing Instructional Modules For Analyzing Structures

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2003 Annual Conference


Nashville, Tennessee

Publication Date

June 22, 2003

Start Date

June 22, 2003

End Date

June 25, 2003



Conference Session

International Collaborative Efforts in Engineering Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

8.404.1 - 8.404.13



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Paper Authors

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Shahnam Navaee

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

Session 2660

Developing Instructional Modules For Analyzing Structures

Shahnam Navaee Georgia Southern University


In this paper the development of modules for teaching structural analysis concepts utilizing Flash and MATLAB software is discussed. Each of the two software components is specifically selected to accomplish a certain task and achieve a particular goal in terms of student course development. Using the Flash software, short multimedia lessons can be created to clarify the theoretical formulation and the steps involved in the solution of the problem. Powerful animation tools and other special features of this capable software are ideally suited for presenting this material to the students in a clear, organized, and appealing fashion. The MATLAB component of the created modules is designed in order to further extend the students’ comprehension of the course concepts and to provide them with additional insight into understanding and predicting the behavior of structures. Effective programming features of MATLAB can be utilized to create flexible interactive script files capable of analyzing a variety of beam and loading conditions based on the input from the user. The instructor can use these capable scripts files in the classroom to create a variety of scenarios for promoting student- instructor interaction and for generating more interest. To further extend the effectiveness and utility of the discussed modules, the produced Flash movie files and the MATLAB script files can be placed on the course web site to allow the students full access to this useful educational material. To clarify the utility and usefulness of the discussed procedure, one sample module for the determination of influence lines and analysis of a beam subjected to moving loads is included in this paper.

I. Introduction

The development and utilization of instructional modules for complementing a structural analysis course is presented and discussed in the presented paper. These modules contain two main components consisting of Flash and MATLAB. A brief overview of some of the basic functions and utilities of the two software is provided below to better prepare the readers in understanding the scope of the proposed project.

Flash, a software tool developed by the Macromedia Inc., is commonly used for producing multimedia documents for the web. This software can also be used as an alternate approach for creating elaborate multimedia movies files (slide shows) for professional presentations and conferences. When developing Flash movies, a variety of other software pieces such as image, sound, and movie capturing/editing software can aid the designers in creating more effective movies.

Proceedings of the 2003 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright  2003, American Society for Engineering Education

Navaee, S. (2003, June), Developing Instructional Modules For Analyzing Structures Paper presented at 2003 Annual Conference, Nashville, Tennessee. 10.18260/1-2--12040

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