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Virtual Laboratory For Machine Tool Technicians – Concept, Development And Examples

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

Web Education II: Hardware/Examples

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.1402.1 - 9.1402.7



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Paper Authors

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Xueshu Song

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Phil Pilcher

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Radha Balamuralikrishna

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

Session 3120

Virtual Laboratory for Machine Tool Technicians – Concept, Development and Examples

Xueshu Song1, Radha Balamuralikrishna1 & Philip Pilcher2 Northern Illinois University/Rockford Abilities Center

Overview This paper is an outcome of an NSF sponsored project designed to pave the way for an Internet based learning tool for training machine tool operators and technicians (Song et. al., 2000). The objective in using this novel approach is to accelerate and improve the process of learning and development of skills in machine tool technology. We present concepts using an integrated multi-media approach that reflects present day technological and socio-cultural aspects. The three learning modules developed thus far address diverse topics such as machine tool circuits, geometric dimensioning and tolerancing (GDT), and hydraulics, all geared towards the development of established competencies of the trade. The overall intent of this project was to create an application that would serve as a complete self-learning tool that not only delivers subject matter content but also helps the learner engage in trouble-shooting exercises, examine and manipulate the application to analyze several what-if scenarios, and perform self-testing in order to gage individual success in learning.

This paper will focus on the three major tasks undertaken to complete the project:

1. Processes employed to identify the topics and subject matter content 2. The pedagogical insight and technical agents used to develop the package 3. Field testing and results

Significance of the Project The customary approach used to train technicians is expensive and has some inherent disadvantages in terms of safety and other health hazards. Although, the use of integrated multi- media tools is not a complete substitute for hands-on learning, preliminary results demonstrate that discreet use and promotion of evolving pedagogical concepts such as just-in-time, contextual, and transactional learning can make training technicians much more efficient, effective and complete (Raschke, 1999). Also, the idea of using the Internet as a media specifically in the field of training machine tool technicians is novel and untested. By placing high quality, multiple intelligences approach based learning materials on the Internet, we are providing enhanced opportunities for individuals to improve their skills regardless of time and geographical boundaries (Gardner, 1993).

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference and Exposition Copyright  2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Song, X., & Pilcher, P., & Balamuralikrishna, R. (2004, June), Virtual Laboratory For Machine Tool Technicians – Concept, Development And Examples Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah. 10.18260/1-2--13367

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