Better learning of mechanics through information technology
Author(s)Regalado S., Carlos A. (Carlos Andrés Regalado Santamaría), 1971-
Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering.
Herbert H. Einstein.
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(cont.) visualize complex geometric arrangements. Finally, the tools developed represent an alternative to what learning technology has always done; transmit academic knowledge to the student. These tools are an example of how IT can be used to go beyond the traditional forms of academic teaching by using technology with an approach that is not attached to this transmission model. They also show how to exploit the adaptive potential of IT to serve a different, more effective kind of learning.The use of Information Technology (IT) in engineering education offers the opportunity to teach concepts more effectively than the methods of instruction most commonly used. IT can assist students in making abstractions and improve their understanding of more complicated concepts starting from simple principles and/or real-world physical phenomena. This thesis presents two interactive computer-aided learning tools. For their development, educational theory is first reviewed from which important learning concepts are extracted. These concepts are proposed as essential elements to be incorporated in computer-assisted learning tools. The thesis also reviews the history of technology in education since the 1600's, including the major contributions, challenges, and reactions encountered during years of technological change. The first tool addresses the teaching of basic solid mechanics. The tool uses simulations and animations in multimedia interactive exercises. Formative testing was conducted during its development, and its effectiveness was assessed through a summative evaluation involving 38 students. Two important conclusions can be drawn from this research. First, a clear overall improvement trend was observed for the students who used the basic mechanics tool. Second, the students who benefited the most from the use of the tool were those who were particularly weak in the subject after having been instructed through conventional teaching methods. The second tool covers the principles and applications of stereographic projections and their application to rock wedge stability analyses. It benefits from the findings of the development, implementation, and assessment process of the first tool. This module uses three-dimensional imagery which helps
Thesis (Ph. D.)--Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering, 2004.Includes bibliographical references (p. 251-254).
DepartmentMassachusetts Institute of Technology. Dept. of Civil and Environmental Engineering.; Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Civil and Environmental Engineering.