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Using Spreadsheet In Teaching Machine Design

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Innovative Curriculum Development in MET

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.1276.1 - 7.1276.9



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Paper Authors

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Chen Lin

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

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Cheng Y. Lin, Gary R. Crossman Department of Engineering Technology Old Dominion University Norfolk, Virginia


This paper presents an approach on using spreadsheets to teach machine design. It also lists detailed procedures on how to implement the teaching scheme. Results show that spreadsheet programs can help students organize their design procedures. By using the characteristics of spreadsheet programs, students do not have to repeat the same calculation and can get the alternate solution of a design almost instantly when given different values on the inputs. When compared to the method taught by using calculators, students can significantly improve their performance on homework problems and tests. From teaching evaluations, their interest in taking such a course increases. In addition, instructors can give more problems to students during tests and therefore can evaluate the students’ performance more objectively. .

I. Introduction

When teaching a class on machine design, the instructor usually explains the equations of each design subject and then gives some examples to help students apply those equations. In most cases, students will use calculators to do homework problems and take tests. Because of the complexity of the equations as well as of the units, they usually have difficulty in getting correct answers, which decreases their interest in taking such a course. As the use of computers has become more predominant, several textbooks are already using computers to solve some of the problems in machine design 1,2,3,4. When a design process is recorded as a program file in a computer, it has the following advantages for the students:

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright Ó 2002, American Society for Engineering Education1

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Lin, C. (2002, June), Using Spreadsheet In Teaching Machine Design Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--10127

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