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A Generic e-Tutor for Graphical Problems

Authors: B.W. Field


For a variety of safety and economic reasons, engineering undergraduates in Australia have experienced diminishing access to the real hardware that is typically the embodiment of their theoretical studies. This trend will delay the development of practical competence, decrease the ability to model and design, and suppress motivation. The author has attempted to address this concern by creating a software tool that contains both photographic images of real machinery, and sets of graphical modeling 'tools'. Academics from a range of disciplines can use the software to set tutorial tasks, and incorporate feedback comments for a range of student responses. An evaluation of the software demonstrated that students who had solved modeling problems with the aid of the electronic tutor performed significantly better in formal examinations with similar problems. The 2-D graphical diagnostic routines in the Tutor have the potential to be used in a wider range of problem-solving tasks.

Keywords: CAL, graphics, modeling, structural distillation, tutoring.

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