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The Value of Interactive Simulations Used in an Undergraduate Math Class

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Conference

2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition

Location

Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011

ISSN

2153-5965

Conference Session

Simulation

Tagged Division

Computers in Education

Page Count

17

Page Numbers

22.1513.1 - 22.1513.17

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/18414

Download Count

20

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Paper Authors

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Seung Youn Chyung Boise State University

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Seung Youn (Yonnie) Chyung is a Professor in the Department of Instructional and Performance Technology in the College of Engineering at Boise State University. She teaches graduate-level courses on evaluation methodology and e-learning. Her research interests include the development of self-regulated e-learning strategies for adult learners and the pedagogical use of technology.

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Joe Guarino Boise State University

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Joe Guarino is a Professor of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering at Boise State University. His research interests include educational aspects of cloud computing, vibrations, acoustics, and dynamics.

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Marion Scheepers Boise State University, Department of Mathematics

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Educational Background:
Ph.D. in Mathematics (1988) from The University of Kansas.
Advisor: Fred Galvin.

Current Employment:
Professor, Department of Mathematics,
Boise State University,
Boise, ID 83725

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Rey DeLeon Boise State University, Mechanical & Biomedical Engineering Department

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Anthony Rey DeLeon is graduate research assistant with the Mechanical & Biomedical Engineering Department at Boise State University. His current research involves GPU-accelerated computational fluid dynamics. Past research included the software development of MATLAB simulations for abstract math concepts deployed on cloud computing resources.

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Charles Adams Boise State University

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Charles Adams,
Undergraduate Research Assistant,
Mechanical & Biomedical Engineering,
Boise State University,
Boise, ID

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Paul Williams Boise State University

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Graduate Researcher, Mechanical & Biomedical Engineering,
Boise State University, Boise, ID

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Abstract

The Use of Interactive and Goal-Oriented Simulations to Improve Student Motivation and Confidence in MathWith a Hewlett Packard grant awarded to our institution, we are working on developing bestpractices for creating and sustaining a virtual learning and teaching community through a cloudcomputing service and enhancing student motivation and confidence in learning Math throughinteractive, goal-oriented simulation programs. We have developed a series of simulations tohelp students better conceptualize abstract Math concepts. These simulation programs providestudents with a learning environment that increases the degree of fidelity and active learnerparticipation. This fall semester, about 120 engineering students enrolled in a Multivariable &Vector Calculus class are using the simulations collaboratively through the cloud computingserver. To evaluate the effectiveness of the simulation programs on student motivation andlearning, we are conducting a study with the following evaluation questions:1. How do students perceive the use of interactive, goal-oriented simulations in their Math class?2. What aspects of the simulation programs should be improved?3. How do students’ motivational characteristics (e.g., intrinsic and extrinsic goal orientations and confidence levels in studying science, math and engineering) relate to their perceptions in using simulations during the Math class?We are conducting a series of formative evaluations in the classroom via an audience responsesystem (aka, a clickers system) throughout the semester. The purpose of the formativeevaluations is to measure how students are using the simulations, if they have any difficultyaccessing the simulations through the cloud server, and if there is anything to be changed toimprove students’ learning experience. We are also interviewing a group of students to solicitmore in-depth information about their experience in using the simulations through the cloudserver. At the end of the course, we will administer a survey to measure students’ motivationalcharacteristics (such as intrinsic and extrinsic goal orientations and confidence levels in studyingScience, Engineering, and Math) and their overall experiences in using simulations, and analyzethe survey results to see if there is any strong correlation among the factors.This paper will provide detailed information about the design of the simulation programs, theimplementation of the simulation programs on the cloud server, and the study results includingour lessons-learned.

Chyung, S. Y., & Guarino, J., & Scheepers, M., & DeLeon, R., & Adams, C., & Williams, P. (2011, June), The Value of Interactive Simulations Used in an Undergraduate Math Class Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. https://peer.asee.org/18414

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