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Virtual Online Tensile Strength Testing Simulation

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2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


New Orleans, Louisiana

Publication Date

June 26, 2016

Start Date

June 26, 2016

End Date

August 28, 2016





Conference Session

Distance Learning in ET Programs

Tagged Division

Engineering Technology

Tagged Topic


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Paper Authors


Steven Wendel Sinclair Community College

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Steve Wendel serves as Director of the National Center for Manufacturing Education (NCME), originally established as a National Science Foundation Center of Excellence in the NSF Advanced Technological Education Program, the NCME provides leadership development for deans, program chairs, faculty and other educational leaders in manufacturing and engineering technology. Steve is also the Director for the Project Lead The Way (PLTW) Affiliate in Ohio. PLTW-OH has grown to over 400 programs nearly 190 school districts across Ohio preparing students for STEM career and college endeavors.

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Larraine A. Kapka Sinclair Community College

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Assistant Dean and Professor, Sinclair Community College
MSME, MS Ind Mgt, PE (Ohio)
Over 20 years industry experience
15 years higher education experience

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Virtual Online Tensile Strength Testing Simulation

Supported through NSF-DUE, this TUES Type 1 project is 1) developing an open source, virtual, online tensile testing laboratory simulation; 2) conducting research to compare the costs and learning outcomes for using on-site, hands-on tensile testing equipment versus an online simulation; 3) creating close industry ties through blended learning opportunities for students; and 4) disseminating the simulation via faculty development. The project is testing the hypothesis that online learning improves outcomes and simultaneously reduces instructional costs. It is bridging a gap between existing tensile testing software products that are either too simple or too complex. The project is using a comprehensive assessment of student learning, along with a quasi-experimental research design, to determine the impact of the simulator on students and their instructors compared to traditional learning without the simulator.

Although the proof of concept in the project pertains to a common engineering learning activity, the research is applicable to other engineering areas and other disciplines. The project includes activities that can be easily adopted by other institutions with little cost. The open-source tool being developed will be disseminated to undergraduate and high school faculty members who teach strength of materials and similar courses, thus increasing the likelihood of adoption. Access to a virtual lab will allow groups with limited resources to attain desired learning outcomes without large capital investments for tensile strength testing equipment.

Wendel, S., & Kapka, L. A. (2016, June), Virtual Online Tensile Strength Testing Simulation Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.27183

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