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Developing Web Based Tools For A General Education Course In Aerospace

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

ASEE Multimedia Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.400.1 - 7.400.8



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Scott Eberhardt

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Session 2793

Developing WEB-based tools for a General-Education course in Aerospace

Scott Eberhardt Dept. of Aeronautics and Astronautics, University of Washington

Abstract WEB-based tools have been introduced into a general education engineering class. This paper outlines some of the tools used and shows how they impact student learning. Students were surveyed about specific tools and over 92% made use of the tools and 70% claimed that the tools helped them learn. Comments are included from both student and faculty perspectives, and include a discussion of barriers in using WEB resources.

Introduction Air and Space Vehicles, AA101, was introduced by the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, at the University of Washington, in the fall of 1997. The course is designed for non-engineering/science students and can be used to fulfill a University graduation requirement. The course is extremely popular, filling all 160 seats in the auditorium all three offerings each year. This paper will discuss the development of web-based tools used to facilitate teaching to this large group of students. The basic structure of AA101: Air and Space Vehicles was described in the ASEE Journal of Engineering Education, Jan. 20001. In summary, the course is a 5-credit course consisting of four lecture hours a week and a two-hour lab section. Hands-on labs are designed to re-enforce concepts and expose students to a cooperative laboratory environment. Student groups participate in two conceptual design projects, one a flight vehicle, the other a space mission. Multi-media presentations provide the framework for the concepts. To attract the widest range of students possible, analysis has been eliminated in favor of conceptual understanding. AA101 has always made use of the web for providing information. In the past, the web page was static. The AA101 web page has now transitioned to a dynamic resource where students can interactively determine such things as how range or speed affects aircraft weight. They can interact with a visualization tool to understand simple controls. Students can participate in discussion groups. And, students take weekly on-line tests used for feedback. Motivation for enhancing the web page comes from recognition of different learning styles. In her book, “They’ not Dumb, They’ Different,” Sheila Tobias2 describes re re how a variety of students, who are turned off by science, can do well in science courses, given the right learning environment. An interactive web page is only one element in

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Eberhardt, S. (2002, June), Developing Web Based Tools For A General Education Course In Aerospace Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--11041

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