New Orleans, Louisiana
June 26, 2016
June 26, 2016
August 28, 2016
Computers in Education
Taking a Computer-Aided Design (CAD) class is a prerequisite for Mechanical Engineering freshmen at many universities, including ours. The traditional way to learn CAD software is to follow examples and exercises in a textbook. However, using written instruction is not always effective because textbooks usually support single strategy to construct a model. Missing even one detail may cause the student to become stuck, potentially leading to frustration. To make the learning process easier and more interesting, we designed and implemented a tutorial for an open source CAD program, FreeCAD, to teach students how to use Boolean operations to construct complex objects from multiple simple shapes. Instead of teaching a single method to construct a model, the program first automatically learns all possible ways to construct a model and then can teach the student multiple ways to make the 3D model. Learning multiple potential solutions has been shown to encourage students to develop the tools they need to solve new problems. This study compares textbook learning with learning from two variants of our intelligent tutoring system. The textbook approach is considered the baseline. In the first tutorial variant, subjects were given minimal guidance and were asked to construct a model in multiple ways. Subjects in the second tutorial group were given two guided solutions to constructing a model and then asked to demonstrate a third solution when constructing the same model. Rather than directly providing instructions, participants in the second tutorial group were expected to independently explore and were only provided feedback when the program determined he/she had deviated too far from a potential solution. The three groups are compared by measuring the time needed to 1) successfully construct the same model in a testing phase, 2) use multiple methods to construct the same model in a testing phase, and 3) construct a novel model.
Hu, Y., & Taylor, M. E. (2016, June), WORK IN PROGRESS: A Computer-Aided Design Intelligent Tutoring System Teaching Strategic Flexibility Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.27208
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