Asee peer logo

Development Of An Interactive Web Based Environment For Measurement Of Hardness In Metals

Download Paper |


2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Virtual and Distance Experimentation

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.421.1 - 9.421.8

Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Javad Hashemi

Download Paper |

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


Texas Tech University Department of Mechanical Engineering

Abstract An interactive web-based experiment was designed as a preparation tool for students in the Materials and Mechanics Laboratory course at Texas Tech University. In the web- based experiment, the students were given an introduction to the concept of hardness, what it means, how it is measured, and the calibration and utilization procedure using a Rockwell tester. Two sections (eight groups) of the class were exposed to lecture but not to the virtual experiment and one section (three groups) was exposed to both lecture and the virtual experience. Each group was given a pre-lab quiz to assess their understanding of the concepts and objectives of the experiment. The groups exposed to the virtual lab were also given a short quiz on the procedure of the experiment. The pre-lab quizzes were graded without prior knowledge of the students’ section or group affiliation. Grades were compared between groups that were exposed to both the lecture and the virtual laboratory and those groups who were only exposed to the lecture. The average grade of the students in the lecture and virtual laboratory groups was approximately 20 % higher than the lecture alone group with a p-value of 0.007 based on a t-test. The average grade on the knowledge of the procedure prior to actual experiment for the lecture and software groups was 75 on a 100 basis. Also, these students showed a great understanding of the hands-on procedure without significant input from the instructors. The lecture only groups did not have a good idea of the procedural steps and required significant guidance from the instructor. This research shows that the virtual lab can be an effective tool in preparation of the students for the actual experimental tasks in a laboratory environment. In this paper, the design of the software, important elements of the virtual lab and the evaluation results will be presented.

Introduction One of the most common impediments in the effectiveness of laboratory experiences in engineering curriculums is the lack of familiarity of the students with the specific equipment and procedures used in the experiments. Although the instructors of laboratory courses devote a great deal of time and effort to present the objectives, procedures, and the expected outcome of the experiments during lecture, the students are generally unprepared and do not recall the specific information during the actual experiment. As a result, a great deal of time and effort must be expended to refresh these concepts during the laboratory period. The problem becomes even more critical in cases where, due to a lack of equipment, experiments must be performed one group at a time. This is true of most equipment intensive laboratories such as Materials Science and Mechanics Laboratories. Because of the above problems, the laboratory experience is deemed ineffective and a frustrating experience by many students and instructors. If alternative student preparation methods are developed that assist the students to become

Hashemi, J. (2004, June), Development Of An Interactive Web Based Environment For Measurement Of Hardness In Metals Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah.

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2004 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015