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Improving Conceptual Learning In Mechanics Of Materials By Using Web Based Games And The Involvement Of Students In The Game Design Process

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Conference

2007 Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Honolulu, Hawaii

Publication Date

June 24, 2007

Start Date

June 24, 2007

End Date

June 27, 2007

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

What's New in the Mechanics of Materials?

Tagged Division

Mechanics

Page Count

11

Page Numbers

12.851.1 - 12.851.11

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/2966

Download Count

49

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Paper Authors

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Arturo Fuentes University of Texas-Pan American

author page

Stephen Crown University of Texas-Pan American

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

Improving Conceptual Learning in Mechanics of Materials by Using Web-Based Games and the Involvement of Students in the Game Design Process

Abstract

Many students in majors such as mechanical, aerospace, civil, and manufacturing engineering have some difficulty in thoroughly grasping concepts first encountered in mechanics of materials. Web based games may not only provide opportunities to create environments that motivate students to think reflectively about mechanics of materials content and to invest energy and time in mastering its concepts, but an opportunity to involve students in learning through teaching activities and to include student ideas that will further benefit the learning environment. The focus of this paper is on the development and use of interactive web-based games used to reinforce the learning in an undergraduate Mechanics of Materials course and the involvement of students in the game design process. The games provide an interactive learning experience for students. One of the games developed involved the manipulation of forces and couples on a beam given shear and moment diagrams. Students were provided with the basic platform for the game but created their own shear and moment diagrams along with the logic for the solution. The games of individual students were compiled in a multilevel game that proved beneficial to student learning. The feedback based on student input in the games allows the students to learn and apply new concepts simultaneously. The impact of the games and the student involvement in the game design process have been positive as evidenced by performance on exams and positive feedback on surveys. Students are motivated to get involved in the game design process by the fact that their work is being evaluated by their peers and that it has some useful purpose that will continue to serve students for semesters to come.

Introduction

Many students in majors such as mechanical, aerospace, civil, manufacturing engineering, and applied mechanics have some difficulty in thoroughly grasping concepts first encountered in mechanics of materials. The mechanics of materials, also known as Solid Mechanics, is one of the core courses for these students and provides the foundation for different key terminal courses including design of machines and senior design. This course is also part of programs such as architectural engineering, engineering management, engineering technology, and metallurgical engineering. The course is taken during the sophomore or junior years after students complete different pre-requisite courses such as statics (engineering mechanics) and calculus. The mechanics of materials course introduces students to the analysis and design of basic structural components of engineering machines and structures such as airplanes, automobiles, boats, bridges, bicycles, motorcycles, and spacecraft. It seeks to develop the student’s ability to analyze the effects of axial loads, bending moments, and torsional forces on the internal reactions (stresses and strains) of basic structural components. Among the important concepts in mechanics of materials, learning to draw Shear Force (V) and Bending Moment (M) diagrams and to write the corresponding equations are important ones that often take significant lecture time to cover adequately. Student often struggle with mastering sign conventions and the rules which involve the relationships between the external distributed load, the internal shear force,

Fuentes, A., & Crown, S. (2007, June), Improving Conceptual Learning In Mechanics Of Materials By Using Web Based Games And The Involvement Of Students In The Game Design Process Paper presented at 2007 Annual Conference & Exposition, Honolulu, Hawaii. https://peer.asee.org/2966

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