Simulations and Manipulatives used to Better Understand Graphics, Statics & Dynamics Concepts


  • John L Irwin Michigan Technological University
  • Sunil Mehendale Michigan Technological University


This paper is intended to investigate the merits of adding manipulative devices and solid model simula¬tions to accompany traditional lecture and demonstration materials to a Dynamics course. Based on the successes of Graphics courses using manipulative devices and simulation software to enhance spatial vi¬sualization skills in engineering students, a pilot study in a Dynamics course adding a 4-bar linkage mech¬anism and a NX software simulation was used. A pre-test was administered prior to using the intervention and post test results were collected after. Analysis of the pre- and post- quiz scores showed sufficient improvement in learning to encourage the continued development of more manipulatives and simulations for Dynamics. Recommendations are made to study whether similar methods will impact student learning in Statics courses.



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