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Online Interactive Multimedia For Engineering Thermodynamics

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

TIME 6: Web-based Instruction

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.962.1 - 9.962.11

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Paper Authors

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Meirong Huang

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F.C. Lai

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Kurt Gramoll

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

Session 3166

Online Interactive Multimedia for Engineering Thermodynamics

Meirong Huang and Kurt Gramoll

Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering University of Oklahoma


This paper describes the development, implementation, and functionality of an interactive multimedia, online eBook designed to enhance the learning experience of students studying basic concepts in engineering thermodynamics. The eBook is case-based and covers the same material addressed in a typical engineering thermodynamics textbook. It is comprised of 42 case problems. Each case covers a specific concept in engineering thermodynamics and is presented in four parts: Case Introduction, Theory, Case Solution, and Simulation. The first three parts introduce a case to students, present required concepts to solve the case problem, and apply the concepts to solve the case problem. Graphics, diagrams, animations, sounds, and hypertext are used to present these materials in a rich interactive and dynamic method. The fourth part provides an opportunity for students to experience a simulation by modifying parameters of the case problem. The eBook is published through the Internet at and any instructor or engineering student can access the material without cost or conditions. The content can be used as a stand-alone tool for distance learning, a supplementary material for traditional classes, or a just-in-time learning tool for those who want to review a specific topic in engineering thermodynamics.


Many topics in engineering are abstract and difficult to visualize. Generally, with traditional paper-based classes, concepts are taught by developing abstract mathematical models and fundamental physical principles with just 2D graphics and text, and then employing them to solve practical problems. This kind of teaching module can result in a situation where engineering students sometimes learn theory that they cannot transfer to real situations, or have experiences that they cannot explain with the knowledge they have already obtained. With advancements in multimedia technology, educators can improve the quality of engineering education with integrated media with 3D graphics, video, diagrams, sounds, animations and hypertext.

The basic concepts of engineering thermodynamics have not changed significantly for decades, and engineering thermodynamics is still a fundamental course for all engineering students. In recent years, efforts have been expended to develop and utilize multimedia in teaching engineering thermodynamics. Cobourn and Lindauer[1] at the University of Louisville present a

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright 2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Huang, M., & Lai, F., & Gramoll, K. (2004, June), Online Interactive Multimedia For Engineering Thermodynamics Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah.

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