Free Engineering Technology Simulations for Learning

Engineering Technology is and always will be a growing field.  It is what sparks innovation in the manufacturing industry and drives economic success.  Eastern Iowa Community Colleges recognized this and sought a Department of Labor grant that aimed to teach engineering concepts in an innovative way.  Enter Lucid Way; an online training and elearning company in Moline, IL.

Owner at Lucid Way, Tim Hunter explained that “It’s a capstone project of everything we do as a company. Projects like this are challenging, creative, fun, and rewarding.  By helping a person or school with these hard to understand topics in engineering, we are in a lot of ways helping our own future.” Lucid Way was an integral part of designing the online instructional delivery at the college.

The project takes simple STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Math) subjects that are normally taught with a chalkboard or a book, and transforms them into an interactive 3D model that explains the inner workings of various engineering technology topics.  The website has over 150 simulations that can be downloaded or embedded into a learning management system, website, or be viewed on a classroom project.  Everything is free and is available under a Creative Commons license.

The Associate in Applied Science Degree at EICC is designed so that roughly the first three semesters are identical and students can take courses at any of the three colleges. In the final semester, the student has the choice of specializing in four different areas: Automation, Electro/Mechanical, Process Control or Renewable Energy.  These courses are delivered with a hybrid approach that works for both people in the workforce and full time students. The courses are offered through the online platform of the Iowa Community College Online Consortium (ICCOC), and a classroom/hands-on lab environment.  Students can enter the course at any given time throughout the year and instructors are available every day and night to help the students with their lab work. This unique approach allows students to complete the courses around their own schedules, but also get the personal face-to-face contact with instructors that is often lacking in fully online courses.

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The engineer technology website offers over 150 engineering simulations and is free to use and distribute.

The Psychomotor Domain – Get Physical

The psychomotor domain encompasses the skills requiring the use and coordination of skeletal muscles, as in the physical activities of performing, manipulating, and constructing (Kemp, Morrison, Ross).

Psychomotor skills are typically more observable, easier to describe, and measure in terms of evaluation. There is no taxonomy that is accepted universally for this domain. A very popular model for the psychomotor domain was established by R.H. Dave.

  • Imitation: Observing and patterning behavior after someone else. Performance may be of low quality. Example: Copying a work of art.
  • Manipulation: Being able to perform certain actions by following instructions and practicing.
    Example: Creating work on one’s own, after taking lessons, or reading about it.
  • Precision: Refining, becoming more exact. Few errors are apparent.
    Example: Working and reworking something, so it will be “just right.”
  • Articulation: Coordinating a series of actions, achieving harmony and internal consistency.
    Example: Producing a video that involves music, drama, color, sound, etc.
  • Naturalization: Having high level performance become natural, without needing to think much about it.
    Examples: Michael Jordan playing basketball, Nancy Lopez hitting a golf ball, etc.

pscyhomotor domain

The Affective Domain – Changing Views

The Affective domain involves objectives concerning attitudes, appreciations, values, and emotions such as enjoying, conserving, and respecting (Kemp, Morrison, Ross).

Bloom identified 5 basic categories for writing objectives within the Affective domain.

  1. Receiving – Being aware of or attending to something in the environment.
  2. Responding – Showing some new behavior as a result of experience.
  3. Valuing – Showing some definite involvement or commitment.
  4. Organization – Integrating a new value into one’s general set of values, giving it some ranking among one’s general priorities.
  5. Characterization by value – acting consistently with the new value.

the affective domain

* This may be the domain that is the most difficult to write objectives for because they are more difficult to observe and evaluate.

How does the learner feel after the instruction?

  • The presentation about the effects of smoking to 15 year old smokers changed their attitude towards continuing to smoke.
  • Students are enthusiastic about learning new software.
  • The learners will have a new found respect for farmers in Illinois.
  • The student will show interest in the field of radiology after the presentation.