Development of inexpensive hands-on mechanics laboratory exercises for the web and around the world
Author(s)Reed, Rachel C
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Mechanical Engineering.
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Online education has rapidly expanded in recent years, but offering a true laboratory component to online curricula has been limited by the ability to replicate lab experiments at a low cost. Some online courses offer videos or simulations of lab experiments that can be completed on learner's laptops with little to no physical experimentation. The development and implementation of three hands-on suites of laboratory activities designed for independent learners or for AP physics high school MOOCs on the topics of pendulums, inclined planes, and rubber bands is described, with a focus on the design process of creating low cost labs suitable for a variety of student learners, including single learners, multiple learners, and students with instructor supervision. The goal of these labs is to develop observational, measurement, analysis, and modeling skills that connect to students' experiences in the real world. The aim is to advance experimental insight and develop intuition that connects learners to how physical objects will act in their everyday lives. The experiments have been designed to teach multiple concepts via coordinated sets of hands-on activities, including reducing uncertainty, graphing techniques for clear representation of the functional form of the data, experimental design to minimize systematic errors and comparing different ways of measuring the same physical properties.
Thesis: S.B., Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Department of Mechanical Engineering, 2016.Cataloged from PDF version of thesis.Includes bibliographical references (page 53).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Mechanical Engineering
Massachusetts Institute of Technology