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Engaging Teachers And Students In Problem Based Simulation Activities

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Simulation and Virtual Instrumentation in ET

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.543.1 - 11.543.13



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Paper Authors


John Irwin Mott Community College

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Dr. John Irwin has presented at the ASEE conference once before in 2002 in the Engineering Technology area. Presently Dr. Irwin is a Professor of Design Engineering Technology at Mott Community College, Flint, Michigan. He has earned a Master’s degree in Occupational Education from Ferris State University, Big Rapids, Michigan and a Doctorate in Curriculum & Instruction from Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan. Dr. Irwin has also been a Program Manager for a National Science Foundation grant awarded in the area of Advanced Technology Education from 2002 – present.

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James Moseley Wayne State University

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Dr. James Moseley holds the position of Associate Professor – Department of Community Medicine, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan. He has earned Master’s degrees in Guidance & Counseling, Medical Bibliography, Instructional Technology, and Health Services as well as a Specialist degree in Student Personnel Work and a Doctorate in Secondary Curriculum Development. Dr. Moseley has published numerous articles, book chapters and textbooks over the years, most recently in 2004 in the area of Performance Technology.

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

Engaging Teachers and Students in Problem-based Simulation Activities Abstract This study investigates the perceptions of teachers and students involved in problem- based simulation, (PBS) activities used in design engineering curricula to introduce simulation as a design tool to better evaluate design solutions. The presentation demonstrates a clear and concise interpretation of the teacher and students developmental perceptions of the curricula developed at Mott Community College through a grant from NSF to enhance existing design engineering curricula using PBS activities. Through this study it is evident that the PBS activities have enhanced the curricula by providing a tool for students to better understand design concepts. It is also evident, that teachers and students learned to value and trust using simulation software as a beneficial teaching and learning tool to evaluate and validate their own design solutions.

The criteria used to determine participant inclusion and sample size is based on the research primarily being a qualitative study in which a relatively small sample size of three school settings have been chosen to test the curriculum. Each of the three schools included at least two of their classes in the study teaching topics of gears, cams and threads in their design engineering classes. One class was a control group that received traditional methods of instruction and the other was the treatment group which participated in the PBS activities.

The study was conducted using a quasi-experimental post-test only design as a quantitative component, and a qualitative component comparing prior and post surveys and observations. The curriculum materials produced through the NSF grant are PBS activities related to topics of gears, cams and threads which provide problems for the students to solve using reference material, which they then verify using a CAD generated 3D model that simulates the solution to the problem. The output from the 3D simulation is in the form of a plotted curve on a graph providing the answer to the problem and also providing a 3D motion output for a virtual visualization of the problem.

Workshops are scheduled for May through July of 2006 to orient teachers how to utilize the design and simulation software used in the delivery of the PBS activities. After completing the workshops instructors possess the skills and curriculum to deliver summer recruitment camps or teach the topics of gears, cams and threads in their engineering technology classes using the 3D models of mechanisms and simulations.

Introduction Simulation of the dynamics of mechanisms used in engineering technology curricula is presently a new concept rarely studied and there is a lack of understanding of how such simulations can be used most effectively in engineering and in education. The following is a quasi-experimental action research study incorporating both quantitative and qualitative data. It investigates the perceptions of teachers and students involved in problem-based simulation activities used in high school design engineering curricula.

Irwin, J., & Moseley, J. (2006, June), Engaging Teachers And Students In Problem Based Simulation Activities Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--149

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: © 2006 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