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Mobile Learning for Undergraduate Course through Interactive Apps and a Novel Mobile Remote Shake Table Laboratory

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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

Approaches to Virtual Learning

Tagged Division

Civil Engineering

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Paper Authors


Alec Maxwell San Francisco State University

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Alec Maxwell is currently an undergraduate student in the School of Engineering at San Francisco State University (SFSU). Besides actively conducting research on innovative tools for engineering education in the Intelligent Structural Hazards Mitigation Laboratory at SFSU with Prof. Zhaoshuo Jiang, he also is interested in acquiring his Masters degree in structural engineering.

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Zhaoshuo Jiang P.E. San Francisco State University Orcid 16x16

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Prof. Jiang graduated from the University of Connecticut with a Ph.D. degree in Civil Engineering. Before joining San Francisco State University as an assistant professor, he worked for Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) LLP. As a licensed professional engineer in the states of Connecticut and California, Dr. Jiang has been involved in the design of a variety of low-rise and high-rise projects. His current research interests mainly focus on Smart Structures Technology, Structural Control and Health Monitoring and Innovative Engineering Education.

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Cheng Chen San Francisco State University

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Dr. Cheng Chen is currently an associate professor in the school of engineering at San Francisco State University. His research interests include earthquake engineering, structural reliability and fire structural engineering.

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Learning style changes from generation to generation. With the advancement of technologies, the current and incoming tech-savvy learners grow up with the digital world. Such technology advancement makes learning more accessible. As one of the examples, mobile learning has become a commonly accepted and embraced concept among the younger generations. Effective learning occurs when the teaching styles align well with the learning styles. To better serve the need of the next-generation learners in a more accessible way, a standalone mobile learning module was developed for an undergraduate upper division class, Mechanical and Structural Vibration, at San Francisco State University (SFSU). The developed mobile learning module consisted of three interconnected components, namely Analysis, Simulation and Experiment, representing the three important elements in a good engineering learning environment - theory, practical example and physical experimentation. Besides delivering the theoretical knowledge and important concepts, the learning module also allows students further examine the gained knowledge through animated simulations in the interactive Apps. In addition, the module includes a mobile remote shake table laboratory (RSTLab) which provides students the opportunity to remotely participate and conduct physical shake table experiments in real-time through smart mobile devices (e.g. smartphones and tablets). Through these physical experiments, students may easily use scaled physical models to test theories and implement their own innovations to observe how structures behave under different ground excitations. A telepresence robot is innovatively adopted and integrated with the mobile RSTLab to actively engage students and provide them a real sense of in-person participation without the need of being physically present in the laboratory.

Maxwell, A., & Jiang, Z., & Chen, C. (2017, June), Mobile Learning for Undergraduate Course through Interactive Apps and a Novel Mobile Remote Shake Table Laboratory Paper presented at 2017 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Columbus, Ohio. 10.18260/1-2--28676

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