June 15, 2014
June 15, 2014
June 18, 2014
Computers in Education
24.1385.1 - 24.1385.7
Work in Progress: Using a Mobile Computing Device in a Senior Capstone Experimental Design CourseThe Mechanical Engineering senior laboratory course is a project-based course that focuses onexperimental design. This requires seniors to design, perform and analyze their own experiments.This semester two student teams were tasked to develop an experiment to obtain engineeringdata on human balance. The physical resources provided to the students include an iPad (or theirpersonal Smartphone), a commercially available single plane balance board (wobble board), anda very small budget to purchase apps. The seed research questions provided to the students are“what is human balance? and “can balance be measured and thereby understood? Theseengineering students are researching these questions along with their own questions. Theseinclude the difference if any between front-to-back versus side-to-side balance, does it changeover time, i.e., does the mere act of measuring it influence future measurements, does mildfatigue change balance and if so can it be measured? Once the questions are formed the studentswill then design the experiments to obtain data. In addition, the students must learn how to usethe “apps” and think about sampling rates, length of experiment, data recording andtransmission. Once the data is transferred to the desk top, it must be transformed into somethinguseful. Some concepts they will explore in the process will be the use of the iPad/Smartphoneaccelerometers and gyroscopes and the idea of working with human subjects. The results thestudents hope to achieve this semester are what a balance profile looks like, discovering howmuch movement there still is even if the person appears to be balanced, how some factors suchas gender, body mass index, and gender may affect balance, and being able to design asuccessful experiment. Not only will the results benefit the current students, but thedepartment/course as well since similar projects could be used in future course offerings. Thiswould permit low-cost projects each semester that take advantage of iPad and Smartphonetechnology while still allowing students to design experiments related to engineering concepts.
Bauer, D. H., & Odom, E. M. (2014, June), Work in Progress: Developing Senior Experimental Design Course Projects Involving the Use of a Smartphone Paper presented at 2014 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Indianapolis, Indiana. 10.18260/1-2--23318
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