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Visual Interactive Learning of Engineering Concepts

Project leader(s): 
Rongshan Qin

The proposal seeks to develop the three-dimensional visual interactive learning software to help engineering students to understand some fundamental concepts. During years of teaching in engineering discipline we have noticed the significant difficult when student were learning and digesting those concepts, for examples the stress concentration around inclusions/cracks, dynamic heat distribution in 3D materials, up-slope diffusion in materials fabrication, etc. Experimental illustration helps in certain extents but often insufficient due to the restriction of dynamic property measurement. Therefore, we propose to develop a visual interactive learning toolkit to address these problems. The toolkit will be a three-dimensional visual interactive software to be developed using JAVA3D to enable students to simulate the engineering questions, to choose various parameters to affect the system, to record the evolution of properties and to compare the observation with the description in teaching materials.

This proposal will provide a proof of concept study. We intend to identify 3 representative but correlative examples from OU materials modules, namely T176, T276 and T357, and to develop the visual interactive learning toolkits to help students understanding those concepts. Each toolkit, after the development and passing of our preliminary trial, will be passed to students for volunteer trial. The toolkits and user instructions will be available at a website and the links to the webpage will be provided to students who are taking those modules for volunteer trial. Demonstration and practical session will be available at residential school as one of the night activities. Feedback will be collected from the users via questionnaires. Modification will be made according to feedbacks.

The toolkits fit into the online study and will support students understanding engineering courses. Students will use the toolkits for better understanding of the concepts, improving their capability in doing homework and implementing it to work-related applications.  

Rongshan Qin poster