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Visual Learning Tools For Ac Circuits And Machines

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2009 Annual Conference & Exposition


Austin, Texas

Publication Date

June 14, 2009

Start Date

June 14, 2009

End Date

June 17, 2009



Conference Session

Innovations in ECE Education I

Tagged Division

Electrical and Computer

Page Count


Page Numbers

14.1355.1 - 14.1355.15



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Paper Authors

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Harley Hartman, P.E. P.E., Pennsylvania State University, York

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Peter Idowu Pennsylvania State University, Harrisburg

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

Visual Learning Tools for AC Circuits and Machines


This paper presents a series of interactive visualization tools to supplement textbooks and to aid students in learning a variety of basic AC machine concepts. The tools are purposely designed for maximum accessibility. They are available free of charge on the web, and require only the downloading and installation of a player application available for multiple platforms. They are easily modifiable to reflect instructor’s comfort and convenience. The tools are effective in generating more enthusiasm among students because they provide alternatives to traditional approaches to clarifying difficult and unintuitive concepts.

Index Terms – AC Machines, AC Concepts, Visualization.

1. Introduction

The present generation of students has a mindset that lends itself to interactive displays and visually rich environments. Engaging them in the classroom has become an ever-widening challenge.

As it is widely assumed that this trend will continue1 the possible impacts of various ways for engaging students through technology has been explored. Visualization in particular or the use of computer simulation is found to substantively improve the effectiveness of teaching as well as students’ performance 2-3. The illustrations, such as would be found in a textbook become active when the user manipulates the controls provided. This new level of engagement moves the learner from a passive to an active role, with the potential for more enthusiastic involvement in the learning process, as well as independent integration of concepts to be learned in the course4- 10 .

There are a number of visualization tools already available for AC systems and electrical machines. These cover a broad range of subject material where the depth of coverage varies and is usually specialized. Many of the computer applications available are rather advanced for introductory courses or are narrowly specialized, making them more applicable for higher-level courses 13, 14, 18-21.

2. Objectives for visual learning tools for AC circuits and machines

The primary goal is to develop visual learning tools to supplement traditional approaches in an introductory level of AC circuits and machines course. Four critical issues are considered in developing effective visualization tools presented in this paper: (1) cognitive component, (2) visual perception, (3) level of interactivity and (4) program implementation and accessibility for users. In addressing the cognitive component it is assumed that foundational cognitive skills are developed through exposure to the theoretical basis of concepts, perhaps through text-based descriptions and formulae in the traditional classroom environment or other modes. In addition laboratory experience or some other hands-on exposure will serve to aid empirical

Hartman, P.E., H., & Idowu, P. (2009, June), Visual Learning Tools For Ac Circuits And Machines Paper presented at 2009 Annual Conference & Exposition, Austin, Texas. 10.18260/1-2--4544

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