Simulation, Visualization and Self-Assessment Tools for Enhanced Engineering Education The Stiffness Matrix Method Module for Structural Analysis

Date of Award

Summer 8-1-2007

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Civil & Environmental Engineering


Civil Engineering

Committee Director

Duc T. Nguyen

Committee Member

Sushil K. Chaturvedi

Committee Member

A. Osman Akan

Call Number for Print

Special Collections LD4331.E54 M64 2007


Existing macromedia FLASH software which has extensive and exciting simulation and visualization capabilities is utilized to develop the "Stiffness Matrix Method" (SMM) module, which is one of the new topics ( offered for the first time in Spring 2007 semester) covered in a Structural Analysis I course, offered at the junior level at Old Dominion University. The developed software (under the FLASH environment), including tutorial lectures to explain all necessary theoretical backgrounds, formulas, step-by-step computerized procedures and numerical examples are presented in simple, user friendly, visualized, interactive fashion to enhance the student's learning capabilities. Through numerous graphical visualization and simulation examples, it can be demonstrated that the developed software package will be extremely valuable for both students and instructors. A system of self-assessment tests, ( consisting of questions randomly generated by computer) have been developed, validated and proved to be a very useful tool for students learning. These tests accept students' (hand calculated) solutions (through clicking appropriated ICONS on the specified website), compare with the correct computer generated solution, assign the students' test scores and send the scores (with the correct answers) back to the instructor and the students. Furthermore, it can be demonstrated that the developed software package also offers some "research" value in addition to the "educational" value that is the primary focus of this work.


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