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Simulation Using Spreadsheets In Engineering Technology Curricula Satisfying Multiple Learning Objectives

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1999 Annual Conference


Charlotte, North Carolina

Publication Date

June 20, 1999

Start Date

June 20, 1999

End Date

June 23, 1999



Page Count


Page Numbers

4.462.1 - 4.462.7

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Zbigniew Prusak

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

Session 3147

Simulation Using Spreadsheets in Engineering Technology Curricula – Satisfying Multiple Learning Objectives

Zbigniew Prusak Central Connecticut State University

Abstract This paper describes teaching of basic simulation principles as well as underlying fundamental knowledge about a problem which is necessary for building simulation models, making simulation runs, and analyzing results. These aspects of teaching simulation are described from the perspective of using spreadsheet software – a simulation tool available at almost no-cost in all academic institution. Examples of types of exercises and projects for solving problems in fields of production control and planning of manufacturing operations, and Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing. Project requirements for students to fulfill learning objectives of forming important professional abilities of engineers and technologists. Learning advantages of working with spreadsheets and influence on teaching environment and difficulties encountered on different stages of simulation exercises are described.

1. Introduction In science and engineering, the relationship between previously acquired knowledge, reasoning 1, 2, 3, 4 ability and structured problem solving techniques has been investigated extensively . Engineering thinking is not only about solving a technical problem, but also about explaining 5 why a particular solution to a problem is the best . During formation of engineers and technologists, the meaning of a studied subject, its applicability to real world situations, and creation of future situations that may employ this subject, all need to be understood by students using three basic avenues: conveying the knowledge to the student by the teacher student’s own learning and reasoning built on previous experiences student’s creativity fostered by instructor and appropriate activities In the field of applied engineering in particular, the problem solving ability based on achievement of stated objectives, often regardless of tools and means used, needs to be based on 1 an underlying knowledge called technical rationality . Technical rationality is the traditional base of engineering knowledge and skills that is thought to remain a corner stone of all technology-related professions. In recent years, due to the general availability of high-tech learning aids, methods of teaching this engineering knowledge base have undergone substantial changes. However, conveying the knowledge to the student by the teacher will most likely

Prusak, Z. (1999, June), Simulation Using Spreadsheets In Engineering Technology Curricula Satisfying Multiple Learning Objectives Paper presented at 1999 Annual Conference, Charlotte, North Carolina.

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