St. Louis, Missouri
June 18, 2000
June 18, 2000
June 21, 2000
5.684.1 - 5.684.7
Use of a Computer Tutor to Assist Students in Strength of Materials
Donald C. Richter Eastern Washington University
The need to provide instruction that is more “student centered” in higher education while improving retention has created the requirement to give students more flexible help outside of the traditional classroom environment. A deeper challenge is how to accomplish this within the realities of today's departmental budgets. The following paper describes how Eastern Washington University has chosen to meet this challenge in the instructional area of Strength of Materials. Eastern Washington University has decided to use a software package to allow the student to have more “on demand” help in solving strength/mechanics of materials problems. The software package allows the student to do problems then use the software to check his/her work, help understand where he may have erred, and provide an environment that encourages further exploration and discovery. The paper further relates the experience and lessons learned in using the software to augment the traditional class room experience. The software package is "MDSolids" developed by Timothy Philpot at the University of Missouri.
Student retention has become one of the most important issues today in higher education. To address this issue we must look at the ways we are delivering instruction to the student and what his/her needs are. The traditional model of strict classroom lecture, homework assignments and tests does not meet the needs of many students who want and demand more in there learning experience. Today’s student is computer literate and is accustomed to using technology to explore in a free flowing "on demand" environment. This desire to explore and learn on demand has carried through to the student’s expectations of their college experience. One of these expectations is to have more flexible help outside of the traditional classroom environment. Providing help usually comes down to how to provide the resources to help the student. The deeper challenge is how to accomplish this within the realities of today’s departmental budgets. Eastern Washington University has decided to use a software package to allow the student to have more “on demand” help in solving strength/mechanics of materials problems. The following describes the software package that was chosen and how it is used to augment the course. I will relay my experience with using the software and how the students felt about the experience.
Richter, D. C. (2000, June), Use Of A Computer Tutor To Assist Students In Strength Of Materials Paper presented at 2000 Annual Conference, St. Louis, Missouri. https://peer.asee.org/8799
ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2000 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015