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Facilitating Learning of Projectile Problems with a Unified Approach

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2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Columbus, Ohio

Publication Date

June 24, 2017

Start Date

June 24, 2017

End Date

June 28, 2017

Conference Session

Teaching Statics, Dynamics, and Mechanics of Materials

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Yan Tang Embry-Riddle Aeronautical Univ., Daytona Beach Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Yan Tang is an associate professor of mechanical engineering at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Daytona Beach, Fla. Her current research in engineering education focuses on cognitive load theory, deliberate practice, and effective pedagogical practices. Her background is in dynamics and controls.

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What projectile problems share in common is a given object accelerates downward with the acceleration due to gravity, which should be the key to solving this type of problems. Students, as novices, are often challenged by variations in given conditions (e.g., initial velocity or launch angle). They may try to follow different procedures for different given conditions while neglect the essential common characteristics of projectile problems. This paper will provide a unified approach which can simplify problem solving by shifting students’ attention from variations of surface features to the governing principle of projectile problems. We will first justify the instructional benefit of this approach from the perspective of cognitive load theory. Then, we will demonstrate how this approach can solve different projectile problems by using the same set of equations. Examples and assessment results will be provided to demonstrate the effectiveness as well as the challenges when teaching this approach.

Tang, Y. (2017, June), Facilitating Learning of Projectile Problems with a Unified Approach Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28348

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