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Adaptive Tutorials using eLearning Platform for Solid Mechanics Course in Engineering

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The paper presents the concept, development and outcome following the development and implementation of a set of interactive teaching and learning tools for Mechanics courses in Engineering. The tools are designed, using Adobe Flex and Flash software and are hosted on the Adaptive eLearning platform (AeLP). The tool focuses on the strengths of conveying information by means of high interactivity, timely and adaptive feedback that tailors to the user's needs and places the user in challenging but practical mechanics scenarios related to the real world. Three different eLearning tutorials were created and the interactive tutorials were scripted for teaching and assessment purposes in Solid Mechanics and Engineering Mechanics courses in Mechanical Engineering, The Adaptive Tutorials have proved to be a major teaching medium that has been accepted by the student community for better understanding of the fundamentals.
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Adaptive Tutorials using eLearning Platform for Solid
Mechanics Course in Engineering
BG Prusty
School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering
The University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
g.prusty@unsw.edu.au
O Ho
Alumni of the School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering
The University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
owen.hwh@gmail.com
S Ho
Adaptive eLearning Research Group
The University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia
shaowei.ho@unsw.edu.au
Abstract: The paper presents the concept, development and outcome following the
development and implementation of a set of interactive teaching and learning tools for
Mechanics courses in Engineering. The tools are designed, using Adobe Flex and Flash
software and are hosted on the Adaptive eLearning platform (AeLP). The tool focuses on
the strengths of conveying information by means of high interactivity, timely and adaptive
feedback that tailors to the user’s needs and places the user in challenging but practical
mechanics scenarios related to the real world. Three different eLearning tutorials were
created and the interactive tutorials were scripted for teaching and assessment purposes
in Solid Mechanics and Engineering Mechanics courses in Mechanical Engineering, The
Adaptive Tutorials have proved to be a major teaching medium that has been accepted by
the student community for better understanding of the fundamentals.
Introduction
Today’s 21st century students need more explanation and understanding of the course than the book-
and-board can provide. The majority of the students want to see that the learning outcomes from the
subject be simple, easy and achievable. In general, the students are keen to correlate the subject matter
with the engineering reality and they want to explore opportunity to visualize the subject matter
through the experiments or similar exercise which would have demanded clear understanding of
different components of the course of engineering. The students can learn the basic skills with the
development of a coherent approach to computer-assisted learning and assessment (Hadgraft, 2007).
Doing hands-on or interactive activities improve the students’ motivational levels in learning (Packard
et al., 1998 and Jorgenson, 2006). Moreover the research suggests that students benefit from an
interactive learning environment in which they can have some control of their learning experiences
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(Chandler & Mayer, 2001). Computer-based games that have been developed for the students in
Statics and Mechanics of Materials courses (Philpot et al., 2003) appear to have improved student
performances in the targeted topic areas. Although there are a number of initiatives by many
Universities around the world to use the on-line educational tools, there are not many tools available
which can provide an instant feedback to the student while maintaining teacher’s reflection and
adaptation with minimum effort. The paper is aimed at the development of a set of interactive
learning tools known as Adaptive Tutorials (AT) developed on Adaptive eLearning Platform (AeLP),
which does not only target the teaching of mechanics concepts and theories, but does so in an
engaging, interacting and interesting manner. The tool is based on a few essential criteria including
visually engaging graphics, user-friendliness, high interactivity and the ability to produce adaptive
feedback that tailors to the user’s actions and responses, with the target audience being University
students undertaking Mechanics courses in 1st and 2nd year of engineering.
The development of eLearning tutorial is primarily targeted with the following objectives:
Development and implementation of a set of Adaptive Tutorials that will act as supplementary
materials as well as means of assessment for a mechanics related courses.
Development of a Learning Object (LO) that is versatile for both the end-user and the lecturer of
the courses that enables provision of timely feedback autonomously based on user input and is
reusable for other courses with minor changes.
Development of interactive capabilities to enhance teaching of the subject, which may include but
are not limited to graphic, visual and interactive functionalities.
Create a platform of learning that students can rely on to aid them through examinations, as well
as to grasp and apply concepts and theories of Solid Mechanics through direct interaction with
simulation and animation.
The development of the eLearning tool in this paper contains three main sections:
1. Implementation of Adaptive Tutorials (AT) using the Adaptive eLearning Platform (AeLP).
2. Development of Adaptive Tutorials for a mechanics related courses
3. Results and findings following implementation
Implementation of Adaptive Tutorials using Adaptive eLearning
Platform
The Adaptive eLearning Platform (AeLP) developed by the eLearning research group at the School of
Computer Science and Engineering of the University of New South Wales, is used for the
implementation of the tutorials using the Adobe Flash and Flex software. The AeLP has three core
features that differentiated it from other available platforms (Be-Naim et al., 2006).
The following are the distinctive features in selecting the AeLP:
1. Ability to provide timely feedback to students which are the core feature of this platform.
2. Ability to track scoring to allow for assessments.
3. Possesses the flexibility to alter content as the editor deems suitable.
Development of Adaptive Tutorials for Solid Mechanics Course
This section covers the production and design of the interactive tutorials for Solid Mechanics course in
engineering at UNSW. As most aspects and concepts can be visualized, the development of this
module required much consideration to enable the effective conveying of ideas by means of animation
and simulation. The modules developed are visually and controllably rich since the utilised programs
and platform yielded few production limitations.
Following steps are adopted in developing the Adaptive Tutorials:
1. Determining the Learning Objectives (LO)
Learning Objectives are the desired results from attempting these Adaptive Tutorials. The
objectives for each tutorial are determined from the course outline for a Solid Mechanics
course in mechanical engineering at UNSW.
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2. Storyboarding
Storyboarding is the process of creating a series of illustrations that is displayed in sequence
for the purpose of pre-visualising the tutorials. This process determines the flow of questions,
outcome of the student’s response and feedback for each question, the function and
appearance of each required Learning Objectives (LO) of the entire tutorial to meet the
objectives determined earlier. This process should be as detailed as possible to facilitate
creation of the LO.
3. Creating the Learning Objects (LO)
First step in creating the LO is to design and create the appearance by using the software
Adobe Flash CS3. Another software, Adobe Flex Builder 3, is used to develop various types
of user-interfaces and control the LO created through by means of a programming language
called Actionscript 3.0. The LO is programmed to be controllable from the AeLP for the next
stage of the development.
Scripting of Questions in the AeLP
The completed Learning Objective is uploaded into the AeLP as a Tutorial Session, and the
questions can be scripted using the AeLP authoring environment. The question text, question
properties, initial and applied states of the LO and feedback are all prepared at this stage.
Three different modules developed are:
(a) Bridge Module for clear understanding of shear force and bending moment concepts in
beams with various loading conditions (Figure 1),
(b) Torsion Module to visualize and analyse the shafts experiencing torsion and to draw the
torsion diagrams (Figure 2) and
(c) Mohr’s Circle Module (Figure 3) to clarify the conceptual understanding of stress
transformations and its requirements for further use.
Figure 1: (a) Bridge module, (b) A span of the bridge showing the linearly varying load
Figure 2: Torsion module
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Figure 3: Mohr’s Circle module for stress transformations
Planned development of a series of such modules is intended to complete the coverage of the entire
Solid Mechanics course. The tools developed have the flexibility to tailor to other courses such as
Engineering Mechanics. This is achieved by simple changes into the tool. One of the important aspects
implemented in these tools is to include the randomization procedure which creates a separate example
for every student.
Results and Findings Following the Implementation
Since the development of such modules, an implementation of using these exercises in the large-class
teaching of Engineering Mechanics and Solid Mechanics courses in the first and second years of
Mechanical Engineering has been effected. The implementation stage of the Bridge Module was
broken down into two stages, as described below:
1. Released results from 1st launch:
The Adaptive Tutorial was released for a Mechanics course as part of the curriculum. The first
stage was released to students towards the end of the semester, a stage where the students are more
advanced for this level of expectations in the adaptive tutorial. The aim of the launch was to gauge
the suitability and performance of the Bridge Module as an assessment and learning tool, and to
obtain the students’ feedback on the experience and the concept of the Adaptive Tutorials by
means of a simple questionnaire and open text feedback. A total of 191 students attempted the
Adaptive Tutorial with an average mark of 78.2%. The results of the questionnaire are analysed
(Ho, 2007) as shown:
Figure 4: Analysis of results from the 1st launch
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The responses from the open text feedback identified a few areas of improvements which included
the removal or irrelevant interactive actions, improved feedback with solutions if stuck, and
improving the overall user experience through minor text changes and layout of the questions.
2. Released results from 2nd launch
A modified version of the 1st launch was implemented as a learning and assessment tool for the
students in the 2nd year, Mechanics of Solids course at the start of the semester. The aim of the
launch is similar with the 1st launch, but also to gauge if the improvements made from the analysis
of the 1st launch of the Bridge Module has indeed improved the tutorial as an assessment and
learning tool. A total of 178 students participated in the second launch with an average mark of
80.5%. The results of the questionnaire are analysed (Ho, 2007) as shown:
Figure 5: Analysis of results from the 2nd launch
The responses from the open text feedback identified further areas of improvements that included
modifications to the user interface of the AeLP, and human-error in the solution of the question
during the scripting.
3. Findings
The 1st launch results showed that only slightly more than half agreed that the tutorial improved
their level of understanding. This can be attributed to the release date as the module was designed
to be given to students in the beginning of the session as an assignment to refresh what they
learned before. As expected, there was a significant increase that the tutorial improved their level
of understanding and fewer “disagreed” in the 2nd launch. This shows that the release dates of the
tutorials are very important and the best time for release is when the students have just completed
the topics in class. From the results obtained from both launches, the majority of the students
found the Adaptive Tutorial to be helpful, easy to understand, user friendly. Most importantly, the
students were very interested in the Adaptive Tutorials as a form of teaching.
Conclusion
The development and implementation of Adaptive Tutorials, using the Adaptive eLearning Platform
(AeLP), was successfully carried out for the Mechanics courses in Mechanical engineering. This has
greatly improved the development process of the Adaptive Tutorials due to the rich graphical display,
simple nature and user friendliness of the platform. Implementation of the tool was justified by trial
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runs of the adaptive tutorials in two-phase basis into one of the Mechanics courses at the University of
New South Wales. The outcome and feedback received were promising and the project has achieved
its target of garnering interest in students and academics alike. The focus of the tool should remain at
the development of visual and interactive material which would allow students to observe the
scenarios and situations posed, therefore improving their overall understanding and method of
thinking, thus building a solid foundation in the subject.
References
Ben-Naim, D., Marcus, N. and Bain, M. (2007), Virtual Apparatus Framework Approach to Constructing
Adaptive Tutorials, World Congress in Computer Science, Computer Engineering, & Applied Computing, Las
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Betrancourt, M. (2005), The Animation and Interactivity Principles in Multimedia Learning, The Cambridge
Handbook of Multimedia Learning, Mayer, R.E. (Ed), Cambridge University Press: Cambridge, pp278-296.
Chandler, P. and Mayer, R.E. (2001), When learning is just a click away: Does simple user interaction foster
deeper understanding of multimedia messages? Journal of Educational Psychology, vol 93, pp 390-397.
Hadgraft, R. (2007). It’s time for a coordinated approach to computer-aided learning and assessment,
Proceedings of the 2007 AaeE conference, Melbourne.
Ho, S. (2007), Development of Adaptive eLearning Tutorials for Solid Mechanics, School of Mechanical &
Manufacturing Engineering, University of New South Wales, NSW, Australia.
Jorgenson, O. (2005). What K-8 Principals Should Know About Hands-On Science, Principal, 85(2), pp 49-52.
Packard, B., Paris, S., and Yambor, K. (1998). Hands-On Biology: A Museum-School-University Partnership for
Enhancing Students’ Interest and Learning in Science, The Elementary School Journal, 98(3).
Philpot, T. A. et al. (2003), Games as Teaching Tools in Engineering Mechanics Courses, Proceedings of the
2003 American Society for Engineering education Annual Conference & Exposition, ASEE 2003.
Copyright © 2009 Remains the property of the author(s). The author(s) assign to AaeE and educational non-profit institutions a
non-exclusive licence to use this document for personal use and in courses of instruction provided that the article is used in full
and this copyright statement is reproduced. The author(s) also grant a non-exclusive licence to AaeE to publish this document
in full on the World Wide Web (prime sites and mirrors) on electronic storage and in printed form within the AaeE 2009
conference proceedings. Any other usage is prohibited without the express permission of the author(s).
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... Pelz ECER 2019 -September 5th, 2019 slide ! 4 • interactive online modules (IOM) -new students often have problems understanding the core concepts of the EM (Prusty et al., 2011) ▪ assumption: students can not link the lecture content with the corresponding core concepts -Crouch et al. (2004) demonstrated that demonstration experiments in physics -to illustrate the theoretical facts -could not produce a positive effect in the lecture ▪ IOM could help (i.a.Gupta, 2004;Deliktas, 2008;Prusty, Ho & Ho, 2009)-IOM have already been developed, applied and evaluated ▪ no generalizable findings could be obtained so far as there were research methodological deficits and no considerations of the individual learning processes (i.a. Prusty,Ho & Ho, 2009; Prusty & Russell, 2011) ...
... Pelz ECER 2019 -September 5th, 2019 slide ! 4 • interactive online modules (IOM) -new students often have problems understanding the core concepts of the EM (Prusty et al., 2011) ▪ assumption: students can not link the lecture content with the corresponding core concepts -Crouch et al. (2004) demonstrated that demonstration experiments in physics -to illustrate the theoretical facts -could not produce a positive effect in the lecture ▪ IOM could help (i.a.Gupta, 2004;Deliktas, 2008;Prusty, Ho & Ho, 2009)-IOM have already been developed, applied and evaluated ▪ no generalizable findings could be obtained so far as there were research methodological deficits and no considerations of the individual learning processes (i.a. Prusty,Ho & Ho, 2009; Prusty & Russell, 2011) ...
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As is well known, engineering has been struggling with high dropout rates for a long time. Recent studies focusing on Germany show that 35% of engineering students finish their studies without a degree (relative to the number of first year students 2012/2013) (Heublein & Schmelzer, 2018). In civil engineering studies this number is even at 42% (ibid.). This is not only an issue in Germany, but rather a common problem in other European countries as well (i.a. De Laet et al., 2017). Explorations of the reasons leading to the dropout are complex. Contrary to the assumption that dropping out can be reduced to one simple reason, it is rather a complex and multi-dimensional drop out process that ultimately leads to the students decision to disenroll (Heublein et al., 2017). The drop out process can be divided into several phases, which are influenced by different factors (ibid.). Performance problems are a decisive factor, which mainly occur in basic subjects like engineering mechanics [EM] or engineering mathematics (Heublein, Hutzsch, Schreiber, Sommer & Besuch, 2009). These performance problems are often the source for failed exams (Heublein et al., 2017) and thus ultimately a trigger for disenrollment in the first semesters of the studies (Henn & Polaczek, 2007). As a possible cause of the performance problems, a decrease of special technical as well as mathematical knowledge among first-year students can be mentioned (Henn & Polaczek, 2007; Heublein & In der Smitten, 2013). The reference model for quality assurance at faculties of engineering sciences according to Heublein & In der Smitten (2013) deals with this problem. The reference model states that the use of preventive support measures at different times in the course of the studies may lead to a weakening of the aforementioned problem. These are on the one hand the preliminary phase (self-assessments and prep courses) and on the other hand the introductory phase (additional learning offers). Such support measures are already available in various kinds at many universities, but in most cases only subject-unspecific topics are dealt with. For example, engineering application contexts - like those of EM - remain untreated. Also, there are still no empirical findings regarding the effectiveness of such support measures (Heublein et al., 2017). For this reason, a collaborative research project was initiated, which has developed a digital support concept, with the objective of supporting the individual learning processes in civil engineering studies by the use of digital higher education. On the basis of the already mentioned reference model, support measures were designed for the preliminary and introductory phase. Thus an online self-assessment and an online prep course have been developed for the preliminary phase, which already focusses on the EM. However, the paper presentation will only address the introductory phase. Studies of the introductory phase have already shown that first-year students have difficulties in understanding the key core concepts of EM (Prusty et al., 2011). One possible reason for this could be that the students do not succeed in linking the lecture content with the corresponding key core concepts. Research into solving this problem related to the EM content, are not yet available. Remedy could be created at this point by the so-called interactive online modules [IOM]. The IOM consists of learning videos and exercises both specially developed for the EM1 and EM2 courses (first two semesters). The learning videos can be divided into experimental videos (to illustrate the core concepts) and in animated slideshows (as teaching and learning support for calculating exercises). The online exercises are implemented using the server-based system JACK (Striewe, Zurmaar & Goedicke, 2015), which enables computer-aided testing with automated feedback generation.
... In addition, the analytics engine enables educators to gain insight and reflect on their students' learning and use of the resource (Kamardeen 2014). Furthermore, it provides educators with an ability to provide students with valuable feedback during learning, targeting the specific students' needs (Prusty, Ho, and Ho 2009). Importantly, it does not require highly technical programming knowledge in order to develop and deploy the tutorials (Ben-Naim, Bain, and Marcus 2009). ...
... Previously reported studies relating to ATs created in the AeLP have taken place at UNSW, (Sydney). These studies were carried out in the School of Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, where they were used as mandatory supplements to lectures (Kamardeen 2014;Khawaja et al. 2013;Prusty, Ho, and Ho 2009;Prusty and Russell 2011), as well as in the School of Medical Sciences, where they were used in the form of virtual laboratories (Polly et al. 2014;Van Es et al. 2015;Velan et al. 2009;Wong et al. 2015). Researchers in these studies reported students being generally supportive of the use of ATs in their courses. ...
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Adaptive tutorials enable engaged, personalised and interactive online learning that includes instant adaptive feedback. By integrating an adaptive tutorial into a large and diverse engineering mathematics course, we explored its potential to support and guide students’ learning from afar. The aim of this study was to assess whether students provided with an adaptive tutorial, could benefit from its use and whether they would engage in and take responsibility for their learning. Comparisons were made between students who did and did not use the tutorial. Quantitative and qualitative data analyses determined the impact of including an adaptive tutorial in a blended learning environment, where 58% of students engaged with the tutorial and 74% of them completed it. Improved confidence and understanding was reported by 98% of the participants. A comparison of examination results indicated that median scores for students who utilised the tutorial were significantly higher than those who did not.
... Abhilfe könnten sogenannte ioM schaffen, die insbesondere im angelsächsischen Raum bereits entwickelt wurden (z.B. Prusty et al., 2009 (Helmke et al., 2008). Eine Übertragung der Elemente der PPIK-Theorie auf Studierende der Ingenieurwissenschaften liegt bisher nicht vor. ...
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In this article, the method of communicative validation from different disciplinary approaches shall be illustrated and will be methodologically justified in order to derive our understanding of communica-tive validation from this synopsis. Subsequently, a concept for higher education development is pre-sented by means of empirical findings and is embedded in the research methodology of communica-tive validation. Specifically, this is the empirically generated model of teaching perception in highereducation (Kondratjuk & Schulze, 2016a; 2016b; Schulze & Kondratjuk, 2017). This model serves as a starting point for considering a communicative research process that flows fluently into the process of participatory quality development
... Crouch et al. (2004) demonstrated that demonstration experiments in physics -to illustrate the theoretical facts -could not produce a positive effect in the lecture • IOM could help (i.a.Deliktas, 2008;Prusty, Ho & Ho, 2009) • evaluations of existing IOM have methodological deficits and do not consider the individual learning processes (i.a. Prusty, Ho & Ho, 2009; Prusty & Russell, 2011) RESULTS First-year students of the civil engineering studies in the winter semester 2018/2019 at the University of Duisburg-Mean clicks on IOM (videos and JACK) regarding the final school exam grade [OF DUISBURG-ESSEN, TECHNOLOGY AND DIDACTICS OF TECHNOLOGY, MARCEL.PELZ@UNI-DUE.DE, MARTIN.LANG@UNI-DUE.DE B UNIVERSITY OF DUISBURG-ESSEN, INSTITUTE OF MECHANICS, YASEMIN.OEZMEN@UNI-DUE.DE, J.SCHROEDER@UNI-DUE.DE C TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY OF KAISERSLAUTERN, DIDACTICS OF TECHNOLOGY, WALKER@MV.UNI-KL.DE D TECHNICAL UNIVERSITY OF KAISERSLAUTERN, CHAIR FOR APPLIED MECHANICS, RAM@RHRK.UNI-KL.DE FKZ 16DHL1024 and 16DHL1025FUNDAMENT Improvement of individual learning success by the use of digital media in civil engineering • collaborative research project: University of Duisburg-Essen and Technical University of Kaiserslautern • a digital support concept was developed based on the reference model for quality assurance at faculties of engineering sciences by Heublein & In der Smitten (2013) • preventative support measures at different times in the course of the studies (preliminary phase [online self-assessment and online prep course] and introductory phase [IOM])IOM• promoting the learning processes of the students by supplementing and making them more flexible (independent of time and place) to the existing teaching and learning offers for the EM1 and EM2 lectures in the first two semesters • videos (animated slideshows or experimental videos) as visual instrument to clarify and deepen theoretical knowledge (EM 1.1: 4)• online exercises for mathematics and EM using the server-based system JACK(Striewe, Zurmaar & Goedicke, 2015) (EM 1.1: 49, EM 1.the IOM contribute to an increase of the individual learning success of students in the field of EM in the first semester in civil engineering studies? ...
... Prusty et al. [12] discovered in a study of the introductory phase that new students have difficulties in understanding the key core concepts. So-called IOM could be helpful regarding this problem. ...
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Within the collaborative research project FUNDAMENT (Improvement of individual learning success by the use of digital media in civil engineering) - funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) - a digital support strategy for the preliminary and introductory phase was developed. The objectives are an improvement of the individual learning processes of students in civil engineering as well as the reduction of the well-known high dropout rates in the medium-term. The support strategy includes preventative support measures, such as an online self-assessment, an online prep course and interactive online modules (educational videos and exercises). This paper includes a description of the initial situation, a project description, the methodology and the first experience of the pilot phase.
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The collaborative research project FUNDAMENT (Improvement of individual learning success by the use of digital media in civil engineering) of the University of Duisburg-Essen and the Technical University of Kaiserslautern, which is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), has developed and evaluated so-called interactive online modules (IOM) for the introductory phase of the civil engineering studies (EM), more precise in the courses of engineering mechanics. The IOM consists of learning videos, online exercises and online forums. These IOM have the objective of increasing the individual learning success of civil engineering students and therefore to minimize the high drop-out rates in engineering sciences in the long term. In this paper the effectiveness of the IOM will be determined on the basis of a longitudinal study in a classic experimental and control group design in the EM 1 course in the first semester. Paper and pencil tests (multiple-choice-single-select test design – multi-matrix) are applied at two measuring points (MP): beginning (MP 1) and end of the first semester (MP 2). Initial analyses of the data are presenting an increase of the mean person ability (dichotomous Rasch model) regarding the achieved scores at both MP. The cause of this increase cannot be defined exactly, an allocation to the IOM is currently not possible due to a small number of participants in the control group.
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The collaborative research project FUNDAMENT has the objective of increasing the individual learning success of civil engineering students by using digital university teaching. One part of the project is the development and evaluation of interactive online modules (IOM) in the introductory phase for the engineering mechanics lectures. The IOM consist of learning videos and online exercises. This article explores the effectiveness of these IOM using a classic longitudinal experimental and control group design. Paper and pencil knowledge tests were applied at the beginning (MP 1) and the end (MP 2) of the first semester. The use of the IOM was operationalized by recording the clicks on corresponding links. In a sample of n = 34 students an increase of the mean person ability (dichotomous Rasch model) from B(MP 1) = .05 to B(MP 2) = .73 could be determined.
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The projection conception of the joint research project FUNDAMENT is presented, as well as the digital elements (online self-assessment, online prep-course and interactive online modules). The first experiences of pilot phase are described and served the plenary as the basis for a discussion and critical examination of the topic.
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In 2 experiments, students received 2 presentations of a narrated animation that explained how lightning forms followed by retention and transfer tests. In Experiment 1, learners who were allowed to exercise control over the pace of the narrated animation before a second presentation of the same material at normal speed (part–whole presentation) performed better on transfer but not retention tests compared with learners who received the same 2 presentations in the reverse order (whole–part presentation). In Experiment 2, learners who were allowed to exercise control over the pace of the narrated animation across 2 presentations (part–part presentation) performed better on transfer but not retention tests compared with learners who received the same 2 presentations at normal speed without any learner control (whole–whole presentation). These results are consistent with cognitive load theory and a 2-stage theory of mental model construction. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Quantitative and qualitative data were collected to assess the effects of an extracurricular science program on students' interest and learning about biology. 184 students in grades 3, 4, and 5 participated in a 6-week curriculum involving hands-on biology activities in a laboratory setting in an elementary school. A focus in separate units each week, such as the study of fossils or animal coverings, was supported by (a) creation of portfolio artifacts and open-ended work-sheets, (b) inquiry-guided explorations of laboratory equipment and experiments, and (c) socially assisted learning provided by college students who served as docents in the lab. Effects of these experiences were assessed before and after the program with an attitude survey and a test of scientific problem solving. There were significant increases in students' interest in science and significant improvements in their problem-solving skills at all grade levels. Girls reported more positive attitudes about science and had higher problem-so...
It's time for a coordinated approach to computer-aided learning and assessment
  • R Hadgraft
Hadgraft, R. (2007). It's time for a coordinated approach to computer-aided learning and assessment, Proceedings of the 2007 AaeE conference, Melbourne.
Development of Adaptive eLearning Tutorials for Solid Mechanics, School of Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering
  • S Ho
Ho, S. (2007), Development of Adaptive eLearning Tutorials for Solid Mechanics, School of Mechanical & Manufacturing Engineering, University of New South Wales, NSW, Australia.
What K-8 Principals Should Know About Hands-On Science
  • O Jorgenson
Jorgenson, O. (2005). What K-8 Principals Should Know About Hands-On Science, Principal, 85(2), pp 49-52.
  • B Packard
  • S Paris
Packard, B., Paris, S., and Yambor, K. (1998). Hands-On Biology: A Museum-School-University Partnership for Enhancing Students' Interest and Learning in Science, The Elementary School Journal, 98(3).