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Integration of Instructional Technology Tools Including Matlab Grader to Enhance Learning in a Hybrid Vibrations Course

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


Virtual On line

Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Computing and Information Technology Division Technical Session 6

Tagged Division

Computing and Information Technology

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Paper Authors


Natasha Smith P.E. University of Virginia

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Dr. Smith is an Associate Professor at the University of Virginia

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This paper discusses the delivery of a 4-week summer course in Vibrations to a diverse group of face-to-face and online graduate students, with a focus on how instructional technology tools enabled learning. The tools were selected to engage students in multiple formats: 1) those that attended class in person, 2) those who participated in the live stream class, and 3) those who would watch the recorded class later in the day. The Matlab Grader feature was instrumental in providing students practice with computational solutions to vibrations problems. With this tool, instructors create assignments that students solve with a Matlab script. When the student submits his or her own code, it is automatically graded against the specified output of the instructor solution. Though it would be useful regardless of delivery mode, the Grader was particularly valuable in getting real-time feedback to students in keeping with the fast pace of the summer course. Other homework assignments were peer-graded within the learning management system. Lectures were delivered as ‘live’ notes using PDFAnnotator. Note taking has been shown to improve learning, so this was preferred over using premade slides. At the same time, traditional board notes would not have been easy for online students to read. The final instructor notes were then made available to all. Students were able to join the lecture via Zoom, a video conferencing platform. Pauses in lecture allowed for questions and comments from both the live class and via the chat feature within Zoom. The versatility of Zoom was also critical for evening office hours. The ability to screen share was especially valuable for addressing errors in student programs.

The paper will discuss how various tools were implemented and their pedagogical value, as well as the limitations and challenges experienced. Metrics on student use of the Matlab Grader (e.g. number of attempts, etc) and student assessment for the course will also be provided.

Smith, N. (2020, June), Integration of Instructional Technology Tools Including Matlab Grader to Enhance Learning in a Hybrid Vibrations Course Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--34854

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