Teaching conceptual and qualitative material effectively while leveraging the contents efficiently has been an elusive goal for many computer-aided learning (CAL) packages in the past. With the advent of newer technologies such as multimedia and virtual reality, these technologies are being researched and applied to various areas of educational settings, especially in science and technology. However the potential of these technologies has not been fully exploited, particularly in the teaching of engineering. In this paper we describe an innovative approach based on the principle of CAL to design and implement an integrated package known as technology assisted problem solving (TAPS) packages, which could guide students step-by-step to complete various engineering mechanics exercises. Some key concepts and development aspects of TAPS packages are also discussed.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Learning Style: The way individuals/learners grasp and process information.
Problem-Based Learning: Instructional strategies that are intended to engage students in authentic, “real world” tasks to enhance learning. Students are given open-ended problems with more than one approach or answer, intended to simulate professional situations. Both learning approaches are defined as student-centered, and include the instructor in the role of facilitator or coach. Students engaged in problem-based learning generally work independently or in cooperative groups for extended periods of time, and are encouraged to seek out multiple sources of information. Often these approaches include an emphasis on authentic, performance-based assessment.
TAPS Packages: Specialized computer programs developed to work as stand-alone (PC-based) or with Web servers that can supplement student learning for revision, laboratory experiments, and self-study.