# Find the angular velocity of the gear F given the angular velocity at A

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10/2/2012 Virtual and Physical Manipulatives in Dynamics

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Find the angular velocity of the gear F given the angular velocity at A

How do we solve this?

The Effect of Virtual and Physical Manipulatives on Students’ Abilities to Learn Dynamics in an Undergraduate Mechanical Engineering Program

A Dissertation Proposal

10/2/2012

Edward PanUniversity of Virginia

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Agenda Introduction The Problem Research Questions Significance Theoretical Framework Visualizations & Manipulatives Dynamics Education Context & Participants Study Design Instruments & Data Analysis Expected Outcomes Budget, Equipment, Timeline

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Introduction

STEM education a national focus Engineering education must adapt Technology for authentic practice

3D printing CAD

Need to help nontraditional students Visualization a key skill

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The Problem

Dynamics Foundational course in mechanical engineering

Study of accelerated motion Particle kinematics Particle kinetics Rigid body kinematics

Lecture and problem solving with static diagrams

Students have difficulty solving problems Difficulty visualizing the problem may be responsible

Research Questions1. How does student performance compare for students

with instruction supplemented with virtual manipulatives, instruction supplemented with physical manipulatives, and traditional methods of instruction?

2. How do students use static diagrams, physical manipulatives, and virtual manipulatives when learning rigid body kinematics?

a. What kinds of mental models of mechanical systems do students develop using static diagrams, physical manipulatives, and virtual manipulatives?

3. What do students think about static diagrams, physical manipulatives, and virtual manipulatives as learning aids?

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Significance

Knowledge of how students learn with physical and virtual manipulatives

How students learn dynamics

Engineering education

Instructional technology

Higher Education

Education as a whole

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Theoretical Framework

How People Learn Embodied Cognition Cognitive Load Theory Mental Models

Phenomenological Primitives Mappings Analogical Thinking Mechanistic Mental Models

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Visualizations & Manipulatives

Visualizations Tend to support lower performance and

lower spatial ability students Deceptive Clarity & Illusion of

Explanatory Depth

Physical Manipulatives Virtual Manipulatives

Mixed results

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Dynamics Education Supplementary Computer-Based

Instruction Computer Aided Design Virtual Environments Hands-On Activities Restructuring Pedagogical

Approaches

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Context & Participants

MAE 2320 (Dynamics) Spring 2013 semester at UVA

150-170 students

Lecture: 2x 1:15

Lab: 1x 2:00

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Study Design

Quasi-experimental w/ stratified sampling

Treatment groups: Traditional: lecture + static diagrams Physical: lecture + static diagrams +

physical manipulatives Virtual: lecture + static diagrams +

virtual manipulatives

Study Design: Procedure

Pretest Treatment: 4x 20m breakout sessions

to solve 1 multipart problem ea. Absolute Relative velocity Instant centers & relative acceleration Rotating axes

Posttest & Questionnaire

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Instruments & Data

Pre/Posttest DCI PSVT

Questionnaire Video recordings

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AnalysisResearch Question Data Analysis Method1. Student performance under 3

treatmentsPretest performance (spatial skills and prior dynamics understanding)

Speed (minutes) and accuracy (% correct) on posttest.

Descriptive statistics (mean, standard deviation), ANOVA, pairwise t-tests, regressions controlling for pretest ability

2. How students use diagrams and manipulatives

Video observation Qualitative: grounded theory, frequency analysis

a. What mental models are formed

Video observation, Targeted student interviews

Qualitative: grounded theory, frequency analysis

3. What students think about manipulatives and diagrams

Questionnaire responses

Qualitative: grounded theory, frequency analysis

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Expected Outcomes

No difference

Virtual and physical benefit low performers, no effect on high performers

Virtual and physical hurt low performers, no effect on high performers

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Budget

Resource QtyHigh

Unit $HighTotal

Low Unit $

Low Total

3D printed physical models (1/pair) 112 $100.00 $11,200.00 $50.00 $5600.00

Printouts for problems (1/pair) 336 $0.10 $33.60 n/a n/aStatic diagrams (1/pair) 336 $0.10 $33.60 n/a n/aPretests (1 ea, 22 pp) 3696 $0.10 $369.60 n/a n/aPosttests (1 ea, 22 pp) 3696 $0.10 $369.60 n/a n/aQuestionnaires (1 ea, 2 pp) 336 $0.10 $33.60 n/a n/aConsent forms (participant, 2 pp) 336 $0.10 $33.60 n/a n/aConsent forms (researcher, 2 pp) 336 $0.10 $33.60 n/a n/a

Mini-DV tapes 12 $4.00 $48.00 $2.00 $24Total: $12,155.20 $5624.00

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Other Equipment

Resource QtyComputers (w/ Autodesk Inventor) for V treatment group 28Virtual models 28Video cameras 3Tripods 3Additional teaching/research assistants for breakout sessions 2

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TimelineOct 10, 2012 Proposal defenseNov 1, 2012 IRB submissionDec 20, 2012 Breakout session problems developedJan 1, 2013 Complete virtual modelsJan 11, 2013 Complete 3D printing, prepare equipmentJan 14, 2013 Courses begin at UVAJan 15, 2013 First day of Dynamics: consent, pretestJan 24, 2013 RBK (absolute) breakout sessionJan 29, 2013 RBK (relative vel.) breakout sessionJan 31, 2013 RBK (inst. ctrs) breakout sessionFeb 7, 2013 RBK (rot. axes) breakout sessionFeb 14, 2013 Exam review: posttest & questionnaireFeb 22, 2013 Video transcription doneFeb 29, 2013 Primary analysis doneMar 18, 2013 Dissertation to committeeApril, 2013 Dissertation defense

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Takeaway Points Dynamics is difficult, visualization may be why

Physical and virtual manipulatives may help students visualize mechanical systems

Most likely to benefit students with low spatial abilities or low performance, if at all

May actually have no effect or even harm students’ abilities to visualize

This study is worthy of investigation

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Questions?