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Use Of A Computer Tutor To Assist Students In Strength Of Materials

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Conference

2000 Annual Conference

Location

St. Louis, Missouri

Publication Date

June 18, 2000

Start Date

June 18, 2000

End Date

June 21, 2000

ISSN

2153-5965

Page Count

7

Page Numbers

5.684.1 - 5.684.7

Permanent URL

https://peer.asee.org/8799

Download Count

47

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Paper Authors

author page

Donald C. Richter

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

Session 2648

Use of a Computer Tutor to Assist Students in Strength of Materials

Donald C. Richter Eastern Washington University

Abstract

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.

I. Introduction

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

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