The overarching goal of this research is to improve conceptualization of System Dynamics and Controls concepts by incorporating a Web-facilitated curriculum to enable intercampus collaboration and remotely-accessible or virtual systems. This approach will complement lecture-based curricula and will strongly enhance students’ conceptualization and exposure to System Dynamics and Controls fundamentals by providing less restricted exposure to a variety of systems that encompass the more important Dynamic Systems concepts. The plan involves the development of a System Dynamics Concepts Inventory and the implementation and assessment of three Web-enabled laboratory formats: (1) inter-campus collaborative experimentation, (2) remotely-accessible experiments, and (3) virtual system experiments. Each format has its inherent advantages and disadvantages. Remotely-accessible experiments, for example, can be made more readily available to students outside of regular laboratory hours, but the lack of hands-on exposure limits the potential scope of the experiments. Each format has been preliminarily implemented using a variety of dynamics systems that reflect some of the more important fundamentals pertinent to System Dynamics. These activities are currently being incorporated into a laboratory course at the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) and a lecture course at the University of Texas - Pan American (UTPA). A preliminary Course Inventory is being developed in collaboration with faculty at both institutions. An initial assessment of each laboratory format has been completed. This paper reports on the findings including a detailed discussion of the development of the Course Inventory, a discussion of the pros and cons of implementing each format, and an evaluation of the impact of each format in addressing student conceptualization of a few key fundamentals.
First published in Proceedings of the ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition Conference. © 2005 American Society for Engineering Education.
American Society for Engineering Education
Date of publication
Kypuros, Javier A. and Connolly, Thomas J., "Collaborative Experimentation and Simulation: A Pathway to Improving Student Conceptualization of the Essentials of System Dynamics and Control Theory" (2005). Mechanical Engineering Faculty Publications and Presentations. Paper 12.
J. A. Kypuros and T. J. Connolly, “Collaborative Experimentation and Simulation: A Pathway to Improving Student Conceptualization of the Essentials of System Dynamics and Control Theory,” Proceedings of the ASEE Annual Conference, pp. 1855-1864, Portland, OR, June 12-15, 2005.