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Enhancing student learning experience with a simulation tool in engineering dynamics
conference contributionposted on 15.06.2020, 00:00 by Ramadas Narayanan, Prasad Gudimetla, Sherre Roy, Aruna Jayasuriya
Engineering Dynamics is a core Mechanical Engineering course that underpins fundamental knowledge that is applied in many advanced courses in the upper levels of the program. This second-year course applies principles from Physics and Mathematics to describe the motion and energy transmission characteristics of all moving objects. For students to understand such characteristics, it is imperative they can visualise the way forces incite motion in bodies and how bodies in turn, react to such forces. The field of Engineering Dynamics has seen the use of numerous multimedia technologies to promote and enhance student learning. This paper covers implementation of a new state-of-the-art interactive simulation tool and aims to evaluate the enhancement in student learning experiences with the implementation of this tool. All students in this unit are asked to complete the pre- and post-simulation surveys which are used as part of the general running of the course to help students assess their level of understanding and preparedness for the course. The surveys are scheduled every fortnight as the target concepts are taught progressively during the duration of the course. Interviews are conducted with volunteer students during the delivery the course to identify how they found the simulation software helpful in creating a better understanding of the concepts. This research has the benefits of using this interactive software to learn Engineering Dynamics and develop guidelines for its effective use in creating better learning experiences and enhanced student satisfaction. This study helped to develop strategies for teaching different concepts in Engineering Dynamics with use of the simulation platform. This research shows that the use of Interactive Physics has enhanced the learning experience considerably and helped not only to understand the concepts in kinematics and kinetics, but also to know the mathematics behind it. It also helped make connections between physics and mathematics behind the various dynamics problems and effective and simplified the problem statement.