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Teaching With An Interactive Book In A Computer Classroom

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1996 Annual Conference


Washington, District of Columbia

Publication Date

June 23, 1996

Start Date

June 23, 1996

End Date

June 26, 1996



Page Count


Page Numbers

1.432.1 - 1.432.4

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Paper Authors

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Robert O. Harger

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

Session 3232

Teaching with an Interactive Book in a Computer Classroom

Robert O. Harger University of Maryland


A significant part of engineering education and practice is concerned with the creation and analysis of mathematical models. Mathematical programming languages have evolved sufficiently to allow interactive model representation that enables relatively easy implementation, verification, analysis and simulation. Indeed, a model and its simulation can be synonymous. The conceptual level of a study is raised significantly when unedifying 2 calculation is relegated to the software. The Mathcad programming language has evolved to the point that it is possible to write an interactive book directly in that language for an introduction to digital signal processing.

The use of computers in engineering practice is pervasive and it desirable to reflect this in engineering education4j576. I have been using the interactive book in a computer classroom, a natural evolution of the . traditional classroom The combination of interactive book and computer classroom allows flexible experimentation with degrees of self-selection of course material, self-pacing and group activity; diverse . backgrounds and learning styles may be better accommodated

The interactive book, computer classroom, effective learning methods, student evaluations and fiture plans will be discussed.

The Interactive Book

Embedding mathematical models directly in a fill-featured mathematical programming language unites the powerful learning tools of mathematical abstraction and symbolization with visualization and trial and error experimentation. There are perhaps a dozen attributes that one would evaluate in choosing a mathematical programming language for teaching purposes. I give weight to (1) an economical package so that students, the majority of whom have their own PC, can purchase it; (2) a low learning threshold, (3) an appropriate implementation level , (4) an adequate set of built-in fimctions including symbolic mathematics, (5) a familiar graphical interface with a self-documenting and reporting capability, and (6) a facility for binding, or linking, documents into an interactive book. Mathcad met these and other requirements: it is a very attractive, versatile

$!iii’1996 ASEE Annual Conference Proceedings ) ‘O.plly’; .

Harger, R. O. (1996, June), Teaching With An Interactive Book In A Computer Classroom Paper presented at 1996 Annual Conference, Washington, District of Columbia.

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