ACIE Award 2010
Enhancing Lectures with Worksheets and 3D Computer Models
Eunice YangDepartment Name
Last fall, instructors Eunice Yang and Beverly Withiam of the Engineering Technology Department at the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown (UPJ) began their project Enhanced Lectures via Worksheets and 3D Computer Models with students in their Statics classes. Statics, which around 100 students take annually at UPJ, requires students to analyze the effects of three-dimensional forces on structures such as machines and trusses. Because these analyses are calculation intensive and involve both 2D and 3D spatial visualization skills, as well as skills learned in Physics I and Calculus I, many students are challenged and this creates a bottleneck in learning.
For the revised course’s implementation in Fall 2010, Yang and Withiam developed lecture worksheets and 3D computer models. The worksheets give students pre-drawn, organized schematics to minimize the need for students to copy information. The models, generated with Autocad and ProMechanica, are projected during a lecture and rotated by the instructor to show different views of structures and the forces applied. With the addition of these tools and methods, more class time is available for students to engage in active learning.