Web-based Statics Course

A. Dollár and P.S. Steif (USA)


Computer-assisted Learning and Instruction, Interactive Learning Environments, Web-based Education, Statics


We report on our progress in developing an on-line Statics course through Carnegie Mellon’s Open Learning Initiative (OLI). This initiative, supported by the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, seeks to create and sustain freely available, cognitively informed learning tools designed to provide a substantial amount of instruction through the digital learning environment. Such instruction provides opportunities to teach larger numbers of students with the same amount of human instructional support, and enable both asynchronous and distance learning. The course is divided into approximately twenty modules. Each module is based on a set of carefully articulated learning objectives and contains various interactive exercises. The explanation of basic concepts capitalizes appropriately on the computer’s capability for displaying digital images, video, and animations controlled by the user. Assessment is tightly integrated within each module, with students confronting frequently interspersed “Learn By Doing” exercises, which offer hints and feedback. “Did I Get It” assessments at the end of each segment allow students to determine if learning was accomplished.

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