The Design, Development, and Assessment of the Vibrating Beam Experiment Multimedia Instructional Courseware

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by Brandon Greg Muramatsu

A thesis submitted in partial satisfaction of the requirements for the degree of
Master of Science in Engineering-Mechanical Engineering




The Vibrating Beam Experiment Instructional Courseware (Version 1.0) has been developed at the University of California at Berkeley to assist students’ integration of seemingly disparate information related to the experiment into a cohesive structure. The courseware provides a framework to understand the fundamental principles of the apparatus, theory, and laboratory procedures related to the experiment. This report details the design and development of the Vibrating Beam Experiment Instructional Courseware. By using hypertext and hypermedia, we provide multiple levels of material, including information that has not traditionally been available for this experiment (e.g., full derivations and supplementary reference material). The courseware has graphical maps that serve as both a foundation for the structure as well as the backbone of the navigation. In user surveys, students responded that the courseware contributed to both their understanding of the preparatory homework as well as the laboratory itself. The on-line usage logs show that the majority of navigation is still linear despite the numerous alternate navigation schemes. Additionally, students were more interested in practical tips than the supplementary material that we included to help them understand the theory. The usage logs also indicated student use of the courseware was very dependent on the instructor’s integration of the courseware into his teaching. The courseware can be used in many different ways depending on the instructor’s preference. It contains the information required to let it serve as a stand-alone reference source for the theory involved in the experiment, or it can serve as a guide for the practical information required to complete the experiment.

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