June 20, 2010
June 20, 2010
June 23, 2010
Computers in Education
15.1348.1 - 15.1348.16
UTILIZING INTERACTIVE WEB BASED DYNAMICS ANIMATION SOFTWARE IN ORDER TO OBTAIN GRAPHS OF PARAMETRIC STUDIES
Animation software for an introductory Dynamics course has been developed, which will be an integral feature of the web-based learning system, WileyPLUS (John Wiley and Sons, Inc. New York). This interactive software is unique because each animation may be directly linked to a homework problem or case study and no programming is required of the user.
The software has been improved such that the user may download parametric studies of raw data in tab-delimited format. Graphs can then be automatically generated via a Microsoft EXCEL® (EXCEL) “macro”, which is embedded in a single static EXCEL file. This EXCEL file must be downloaded only once and can be used to seamlessly graph and format parametric data that has been obtained via the animations program.
The focus of this paper is to illustrate and assess parametric studies that were created by the animation software. The software was used by students at Kettering University in order the increase their qualitative understanding of particle dynamics and rigid body kinematics. Student surveys and the results of student assignments suggest that the parametric studies enhanced the students’ overall comprehension of dynamics.
In typical Dynamics courses, most homework problems require the student to solve for a given variable at an instant in space and time. The professor typically assigns a set of homework problems and the students solve each problem by hand. The student knows that his or her calculations are correct by checking answers in the back of the book.
In reality, the subject of particle Dynamics is the study of motion and not the calculation of a particle’s point at a particular instance in time. This differentiation is probably lost in the traditional classroom. A unique web-based animation program has been developed by the principal author of this paper, which has been explained in several previous publications1,2,3,4,5,6. A summary of comments and findings of the earlier publications are:
1) The primary purpose of the animation software is to help the student appreciate and understand Dynamics concepts more completely. 2) There is no software to install and there is absolutely no programming required of the user. 3) The animations can be played on virtually any computer; the Adobe Flash® Player is installed on 98.8% of internet-enabled desktops worldwide7. 4) The software is extremely easy to use; the controls are similar to those of a DVD player. 5) Because the program is “hard-coded” in Adobe Flash ActionScript, there is an abundance of control in the advancement of the software package. 6) The cost and time of development is relatively low because all images may be duplicated directly from the textbook.
Stanley, R., & Cameron, T. (2010, June), Utilizing Interactive Web Based Dynamics Animation Software In Order To Obtain Graphs Of Parametric Studies Paper presented at 2010 Annual Conference & Exposition, Louisville, Kentucky. 10.18260/1-2--16895
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