A project by Brianno Coller
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since Mar. 9, 2011
last updated May. 7, 2011
since Feb. 18, 2011
One of the most difficult courses in the undergraduate mechanical engineering curriculum is Dynamic Systems & Control. It is difficult because of the mathematical intensity of the course and because it requires students to think in ways that they are not accustomed to thinking.
In 2008, I began teaching course with the aid of a video game-like simulation platform. I designed the game-based learning environment in a way that would provide a means for students to gain an intuitive understanding of core concepts BEFORE they were exposed to all the gory mathematical details. (Check out the video.)
In assessing the impact of the intervention, we found that students taking the game-based course learn the core concepts in the course better. Furthermore, they are more engaged.
The research project is funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation (0633162). Any opinions, findings and conclusions are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.