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Evaluation of Interactive and Inter-connected Software in Undergraduate Renewable Energy Courses

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

June 29, 2016





Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session I

Tagged Topics

Diversity and NSF Grantees Poster Session

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Paper Authors


Amjad Aman University of Central Florida

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Amjad Aman is a PhD candidate at the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of Central Florida. His research interests include fuel cells, fuel cell materials, perovskites and numerical modeling.

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Nina Orlovskaya University of Central Florida

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Prof. Nina Orlovskaya is an Associate Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of Central Florida. Her research interests are in field of ceramics for energy applications - solid oxide fuel cells, oxygen separation membranes, sensors and catalysis.

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Haiyan Bai University of Central Florida

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Haiyan Bai, PhD., is an Associate Professor of Quantitative Research Methodology in the College of Education and Human Performance at the University of Central Florida. Her interests include resampling method, propensity score analysis, research design, measurement and evaluation, and the applications of statistical methods in educational research and behavioral sciences. She is actively involved educational and social science research projects. Dr. Bai has published books and many professional articles in refereed national and international journals. She has won several competitive awards at the University of Central Florida for her excellent teaching and research. Dr. Bai also served on several professional journal editorial boards, such as Journal of Experimental Education, Frontiers in Quantitative Psychology and Measurement, and Journal of Data Analysis and Information Processing. She is also the Fellow of the Academy for Teaching, Learning, and Leadership and the Faculty Fellow at The University of Central Florida.

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Yunjun Xu University of Central Florida

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Dr. Yunjun Xu is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at the University of Central Florida. His research interests are robotics, controls, and aerospace system and educational software.

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As more and more technological innovations are coming into reality, many educators are starting to use these innovations to meet the different learning styles of students rather than sticking with the conventional book-lecture-example type of teaching methodology. To date, new teaching tools such as smartboards, online learning module templates, videos, animations, audiobooks, e-books, and interactive books have all appeared. One way of looking at it is that each student may have a particular style of learning, and the material learning retention improves significantly if each student is learning the materials via his/her own style or are exposed to multiple learning styles.

This paper discusses the status of an interactive software that was developed to teach concepts of renewable energy and its assessment of student learning performances in several undergraduate courses. The software could help students learn fuel cells, one kind of renewable energy source; using verbal, auditory, and visual methods like animations and videos. The motivation of selecting fuel cells as the course contents throughout the software modules is due to the fact that more and more mechanical engineering students are interested in renewable energies, and fuel cells have higher efficiency and versatility. The software package can serve either as a stand-alone tool about fundamentals, applications, and science behind fuel cells; or as a supplemental teaching tool to be used outside of the classroom to reinforce fuel cell concepts being taught in class.

The effectiveness of the software on student learning outcomes was evaluated two times in undergraduate courses with 200 students on an average, using a set of surveys that measure the learning outcomes and motivations of students based on the ARCS model, prior to and after the intervention with the software tool. The first evaluation was conducted in Fall 2014 in a Senior Design class with students from the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department, followed by the second evaluation conducted in a Thermodynamics course in Summer 2015.

The knowledge of the subject matter improved significantly after the intervention of the software, on an average by M=14.41 (SD = 5.10, p < .001), and the motivation scores increased by M = 2.09 (SD = 9.90, p = .021) assessed by the data from the first round data collection. This assessment results cross-validated the results from the analysis of the second round data with the average student learning outcome increased by M = 9.78 (SD = 5.69, p < .001), and the motivation scores improved by M = 1.38 (SD = 7.26, p = .29).

Aman, A., & Orlovskaya, N., & Bai, H., & Xu, Y. (2016, June), Evaluation of Interactive and Inter-connected Software in Undergraduate Renewable Energy Courses Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.26780

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