Virtual On line
June 22, 2020
June 22, 2020
June 26, 2021
The ability to evaluate engineering elements, identify expected deformations, and predict possible failure mechanisms are critical skills for engineers. However, it has been observed that many undergraduate engineering students in applied mechanics courses struggle with applying these skills in engineering problems. Previous studies have shown that three-dimensional (3D) visualization can help students to improve spatial understanding, learn material more permanently and improve their creativity. In an attempt to build on this phenomenon, interactive 3D models using Augmented Reality (AR) were incorporated in a Mechanics of Materials course. This course is an entry level course and a major requirement for different engineering disciplines such as Civil, Mechanical, Biomedical, Materials Science, and Manufacturing Engineering. Two levels of learning were targeted in this study; applying and creating. For applying, 3D models were made available that could be viewed on a smartphone using an AR application or on a computer. The models were generated for problems that students in previous years found challenging or expressed difficulty in visualizing. Students were then encouraged to use this model to inform their problem solving. For creating, students were given the opportunity to generate 3D models based on textbook examples, indicate types of stresses and display deformed shapes. For both activities, student perceptions, best practices, and lessons learned are noted. Students were also asked to provide feedback about their experience and the effectiveness of AR models in their learning in class evaluation surveys. To evaluate the effect of using 3D models on students’ performance, an independent study was conducted with students in the Mechanics of Materials course. In this two-problem study, one group only had access to a traditional two-dimensional (2D) schematic, while the other group had access to a 3D model. The experimental and control groups were then swapped for the second problem. The results of this study revealed that 3D models can significantly improve students’ performance. It is anticipated that discussing the benefits and challenges associated with incorporating such activities, along with providing suggestions for incorporation, will help other institutions add similar activities to their engineering courses in an effort to improve student learning.
Hain, A., & Motaref, S. (2020, June), Implementing Interactive 3-D Models in an Entry-level Engineering Course to Enhance Students’ Visualization Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34782
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