Helping Students Learn Engineering Mechanics Concepts Through Integration of Simulation Software in Undergraduate Courses

Contributing USMA Research Unit(s)

Center for Innovation and Engineering, Civil and Mechanical Engineering

Publication Date

Summer 6-23-2018

Publication Title

American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference

Document Type

Conference Proceeding


This paper describes recent experience within the civil engineering program at the U.S. Military Academy (USMA) to integrate simulation tools to assist students in understanding concepts. Students are introduced to SOLIDWORKS Simulation in their first two engineering courses. This tool provides students with opportunities to develop a sense for structural behavior and visualize load effects on structures. This paper describes several examples of how this software has been integrated into statics and mechanics of materials courses as well as a structural analysis course. In addition to describing examples of how simulation software can be used to improve students’ ability to visualize engineering mechanics concepts, this paper reports initial assessment data and discusses ideas for ways to better integrate these tools to improve student learning and assess the influence on students’ conceptual understanding.

Record links to items hosted by external providers may require fee for full-text.