Improving Conceptual Learning In Mechanics Of Materials By Using Web Based Games And The Involvement Of Students In The Game Design Process

Arturo Fuentes, Stephen Crown
2007 Annual Conference & Exposition Proceedings   unpublished
Many students in majors such as mechanical, aerospace, civil, and manufacturing engineering have some difficulty in thoroughly grasping concepts first encountered in mechanics of materials. Web based games may not only provide opportunities to create environments that motivate students to think reflectively about mechanics of materials content and to invest energy and time in mastering its concepts, but an opportunity to involve students in learning through teaching activities and to include
more » ... s and to include student ideas that will further benefit the learning environment. The focus of this paper is on the development and use of interactive web-based games used to reinforce the learning in an undergraduate Mechanics of Materials course and the involvement of students in the game design process. The games provide an interactive learning experience for students. One of the games developed involved the manipulation of forces and couples on a beam given shear and moment diagrams. Students were provided with the basic platform for the game but created their own shear and moment diagrams along with the logic for the solution. The games of individual students were compiled in a multilevel game that proved beneficial to student learning. The feedback based on student input in the games allows the students to learn and apply new concepts simultaneously. The impact of the games and the student involvement in the game design process have been positive as evidenced by performance on exams and positive feedback on surveys. Students are motivated to get involved in the game design process by the fact that their work is being evaluated by their peers and that it has some useful purpose that will continue to serve students for semesters to come.
doi:10.18260/1-2--2966 fatcat:pperb2nd7re4xabrx4x3dw6voa