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Teaching Dynamics In Engineering Technology Through Software Tools

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1997 Annual Conference


Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Publication Date

June 15, 1997

Start Date

June 15, 1997

End Date

June 18, 1997



Page Count


Page Numbers

2.387.1 - 2.387.5

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Paper Authors

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Ratan Kumar

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

Session 2520

Teaching dynamics in engineering technology through software tools

Ratan Kumar Department of Engineering Technology University of North Texas, Denton, TX 76203


The use of software as a teaching aid is rapidly gaining popularity. This paper describes some of the software available that helps in teaching dynamics to students of engineering technology. The instructional emphasis in engineering technology is application based. Problems and assignments are given that helps to illustrate the theory from a practical perspective and the stress on theory itself is less. Modern educational tools like simulation and multimedia help the instructor to exemplify theory through industrial examples that are sometimes difficult to describe in textbooks and easier to comprehend through visualization. This technique is also well recieved by students who gain more insight to the theory and feel less burdened in overcoming the associated mathematical difficulties.


Engineering technology and engineering programs have dispareted themselves in that the former places more emphasis on the application of theory. This helps the students to learn in a manner that can be immediately translated towards industrial applications. Dynamics is quite often one of the first technical courses encountered by engineering technology students. It sets up the stage for the instructors to teach the applied aspect of science and engineering. In order to elucidate the theory, application oriented problems have to be provided. Although the current textbooks contain a plethora of such problems the visualization and simulation process provides a more efficient means in discerning the theory. Dynamics is a subject that depends on geometric and physical perception and every effort should be made to enhance this ability. Through modern processes the instructors, in engineering technology, can show and assign a multitude of problems by a pseudo-live technique and spend less time in showing the mathematical intricasies. This method also helps the students to get exposed and exploit the state of the art software available for engineering practices.

The course was designed around real world problems. In order to understand the subject as an engineer, theory and problem solving strategies were covered in the lecture period. The objective was to teach the students, how to approach problems and critically judge the results. Simulation and multimedia tools were used to animate the problems and provide a real world effect to them. Visualization was afforded through models, pictures, graphs and simulation. The use of these tools helped to supplement the class lecture. Homework assignments were computer based and it was given keeping in mind the use of software tools. The use of mathematical tools was encouraged to perform repetitious calculations. This helped the students to spend more time in understanding the problem and less time in solving various forms of it. Also some prebuilt simulation packages were provided so that the students could run them and solve a problem from different perspectives. Projects were given which emphasized design issues. This helped the students in understanding the associated engineering issues.

Kumar, R. (1997, June), Teaching Dynamics In Engineering Technology Through Software Tools Paper presented at 1997 Annual Conference, Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

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