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Teaching Modal Analysis with Mobile Devices

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2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 23, 2018

Start Date

June 23, 2018

End Date

July 27, 2018

Conference Session

Applications of Technology in Mechanics Education

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Charles Riley P.E. Oregon Institute of Technology Orcid 16x16

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Dr. Riley has been teaching mechanics concepts for over 10 years and has been honored with both the ASCE ExCEEd New Faculty Excellence in Civil Engineering Education Award (2012) and the Beer and Johnston Outstanding New Mechanics Educator Award (2013). While he teaches freshman to graduate-level courses across the civil engineering curriculum, his focus is on engineering mechanics. He implements classroom demonstrations at every opportunity as part of a complete instructional strategy that seeks to overcome issues of student conceptual understanding.

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An inexpensive system capable of performing modal analysis of laboratory models and full-scale structures was employed in both a laboratory and field experience in a 400/500-level bridge rating elective course. The system, comprised of an electromechanical shaker and an array of 12 iPods, allows for an introduction to modal testing of bridges and other structures in an active and highly physical way. A laboratory module employing the system is described. Indirect and direct assessment of student learning is reported along with student evaluation of the module. In general, students perceived full-scale testing, numerical modeling, and discussion of theory as more valuable than lab-scale testing in supporting their learning. Their confidence in demonstrating their understanding was high for lower-cognitive-level objectives and lower for application-level objectives. Their ability to demonstrate their learning was relatively inconsistent with their own perceptions of their ability. Given the demonstrated learning and high perceived value of full-scale field testing, the effort to deploy a shaker and relatively simple data collection system using mobile devices was deemed an effective way of introducing students to experimental modal analysis and resonance testing.

Riley, C. (2018, June), Teaching Modal Analysis with Mobile Devices Paper presented at 2018 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition , Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--31059

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