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Learning Statics With Multimedia And Other Tools

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1998 Annual Conference


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 28, 1998

Start Date

June 28, 1998

End Date

July 1, 1998



Page Count


Page Numbers

3.392.1 - 3.392.12



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Paper Authors

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Siegfried M. Holzer

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Raul H. Andruet

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

Session 1658

Learning Statics with Multimedia and Other Tools Siegfried M. Holzer and Raul H. Andruet Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University Blacksburg, VA 24061

Although we started out to develop a multimedia program for statics, our learning environment has evolved to include physical models, interactive multimedia, traditional pencil-and-paper activities, and cooperative learning. Multimedia is just one of several tools to facilitate learning. Our objective is to create an effective learning environment that helps to "produce learning" (Barr and Tagg, 1995). In this paper we describe some elements of the learning environment and illustrate the use of multimedia learning models in the subject area of trusses.

Learning Environment I see more clearly than before that the path to motivating students is the joy of creation, exploration, and discovery. I see also that these processes are social in nature and that shared experiences in class and through teamwork projects are vital. Shneiderman (1993) The principal elements of our learning environment are cooperative and experiential learning. Team work tends to provide students with a variety of benefits which include active involvement, enhanced performance, learning skills, interpersonal skills, and self-esteem, and it creates a learning community (Gardiner, 1996). Moreover, "Team learning is vital because teams, not individuals, are the fundamental learning unit in modern organizations" (Senge, 1990). Experiential learning has its roots in the works of Dewey, Lewin, and Piaget [Kolb, 1984]. It focuses on the central role that experience plays in the learning process, where "concepts are derived and continuously modified by experience. No two thoughts are ever the same, since experience always intervenes" (Kolb, 1984, p. 26). Kolb (1984, p. 21) defines experiential learning as "a holistic integrative perspective on learning that combines experience, perception, cognition, and behavior." This interconnectedness is central to holistic learning (Miller, 1993). Cooperative Learning. Cooperative learning is a structured learning strategy in which small groups of students work toward a common goal (Cooper, et al., 1994). Cooperative learning is an old concept [Ercolano, 1994]. Extensive research, initiated in the late 1800s, has demonstrated significant advantages of cooperative learning over competitive and individualistic learning in various learning characteristics; these include [Johnson et al., 1991]: high-level reasoning; generation of new ideas and solutions; motivation for learning; personal responsibility; and student retention. Cooperative learning provides structures [Kagan, 1990] to engage students in meaningful activities that can be shared with others [Papert and Harel, 1991]. Meaningful activities include authentic activities that represent future tasks and problems and are rich in learning resources

Holzer, S. M., & Andruet, R. H. (1998, June), Learning Statics With Multimedia And Other Tools Paper presented at 1998 Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/1-2--7261

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