AC 2010-2255: EXTROVERT: SYSTEM FOR LEARNING ACROSS DISCIPLINES Narayanan Komerath, Marilyn Smith Georgia Institute of Technology NASA Grant NNX09AF67G Narayanan Komerath, Marilyn Smith, Brian German Georgia Institute of Technology ErianArmanios, U. Texas, Arlington Dolores Krausche, Florida Center for Engineering Education
WELCOME Case Studies Library Skills Library Design-Centered Introduction McMahon Solutions Library Materials Composites Engg. Disciplines Propulsion Elasticity Strength Physics Thermal Sciences Space Science Social Sciences Chemistry Controls HighSpeed Fluids Gasdynamics LowSpeed System Design Advanced Concepts Public Policy Core Subject Knowledge
Project Objectives: • • Build resources for problem-solving across disciplines to develop new concepts. • • Acquire experience on how engineers perform in such learning. • Approach: • Enable learners to gain confidence with the process of solving problems, • starting with their own preferred learning styles. • Ideas being implemented include: • Design-centered portal to aerospace engineering • Vertical streams of technical content • Case Studies • Library of solved problems • Integrative concept modules • Module-based assessment to measure learning in time to improve it. • This paper sets out the issues and builds the concept for dealing with them. • The first year’s progress and usage experience are summarized.
Why? • Rapid change demands swift and confident movement across disciplines • to innovate advances • Cross-functional teams require everyone to learn quickly and understand the • principles and methods of everyone else’s area of specialty. • Extreme complexity and technological diversity of aerospace systems • Breakthrough innovations come from experience in turning dreams to reality • Perspective needed for innovations comes from far-away disciplines (breadth) • but is applied to solve intricate problems in a core discipline (depth)
6 Sample Categories Of Learners • Experienced engineers in industry, and researchers • University Faculty • New graduates at NASA, DoD and industry centers • Aerospace graduate students • Upper-division undergraduates • Non-engineering majors in aerospace project teams • College freshmen • K-12 students
How • EXTROVERT builds on 12 year experience of the Aerospace Digital Library • collection of resources, expanding and refining the resources. • Intuitive gateway to AE based on conceptual design of flight vehicle systems, • suited to learners at all levels. • Allow any user to go up to the perspective of the general public, and down to • level of detail needed for R&D. • Detailed sequential course notes, linked across disciplines. • Worked Examples, Concept Development examples, Case Studies • Continuous, modular learning assessment, focused on learning.
Issues • Adapting to evolving technology, knowledge resources & project needs • Not practical to take a new course sequence for each project. • Breadth vs. depth • Different learning styles become critical to motivation, especially when • learning happens outside a formal course. • Innovations come from all quarters, but require academic depth and breadth • to understand and refine.
Assessment Why? Discover how students are learning and using the resources we develop, and how to adapt the resources to improve learning.Measure effectiveness of given resources and strategies for transferable products.Obtain peer-review for final products.
http://www.adl.gatech.edu/research/extrovert/ Design Centered Introduction To Aerospace Engineering • Designing a Flight Vehicle: Road Map • Force Balance During Flight • Earth's Atmosphere • Aerodynamics • Propulsion • Performance • Stability and control • Structures and Materials • High Speed Flight • Space Flight
http://www.adl.gatech.edu/research/extrovert/ Core Subject Knowledge Statics Dynamics Thermodynamics Fluid mechanics& Low Speed Aerodynamics Gas dynamics& High Speed Aerodynamics Propulsion & Power Composite Materials Aerostructures Aeroelasticity Controls System Design
http://www.adl.gatech.edu/research/extrovert/ Skills Library Examples • Aerodynamics Codes • Atmosphere Calculator • Unit Converter • Aviation Weather Forecast • Periodic Table • Shock-Expansion Tool • Materials Properties • Wolfram Mathematica Online Solver
http://www.adl.gatech.edu/research/extrovert/ McMahon Solutions Library Library of solved example problems and applications to guide learners. Built from the core of solutions published by permission from the estate of Georgia Tech’s Professor Emeritus Howard McMahon. Enables learners to navigate worked examples at a wide variety of skill levels in these core areas. Now that a basic structure is in place and is being utilized in academic courses and PhD Qualifying Exam preparation, these resources will be expanded to other disciplinary content across the aerospace curriculum.
Case Studies of Innovations Used as Course Study Projects • C-5 Military Cargo Transport Aircraft • SR-71 • ?? • For students: Design-Build-Fly case study
Serve Diverse Learning Styles* of Innovators (*Everyone has some of each trait somewhere within!) • “Rocket Scientist”: • Succinct core content in aerospace disciplines with uncompromising • tie-back to the laws of physics and mathematics followed by demonstrations • “Astronaut”: • Detailed worked examples including demonstrations, data, procedures. • “Eagle”: • Case studies with access to concept modules, demos, results • “Barnstormer”: • Advanced concept development examples with instant access to visual resources across many disciplines to illustrate and define. • “Designer”: • Advanced concept development examples with access to data and standardsillustrated via case studies and detailed worked examples.
Case Study: SR 71 Performance Prediction by Brian German’s AE3310 class) “The wisdom (?) of crowds !!!” Presented at the 2010 ASEE Annual Conference & Exhibition
Assessment Prototype: High Speed Aerodynamics http://www.surveymonkey.com 2. Free-form comment
CASE STUDY: COMPOSITE MISSILE WING DESIGN • COMPOSITE SANDWICH WING COMPONENTS Shell elements Solid elements • FINITE ELEMENT MODEL Displacement in Z direction Dial -gage Core Clamped plate Facing • TEST SETUP Stress in the external layer Wing Aluminum root • 3-D Modeling Load cell Transverse shear in the core
DISCUSSION Postulate: Learning and innovating across disciplines is substantially self-driven. Requires initiative, confidence and persistence. Hypothesis: Enabling people to learn on their own terms will enhance and sustain such initiative and confidence. Basic pedagogical question:“How should learners seek and grasp the fundamentals of new disciplines, and how to use them appropriately to solve problems?” Cross-disciplinary learning is considered at 3 basic levels: • At the freshman level: Everyone is a freshman when trying to “learn the ropes” of a new discipline. Emphasis on the “culture”, and building confidence in making estimates using laws of Nature, common sense and benchmarking. • Senior undergraduate / new engineer level: learn to work in multidisciplinary project teams, synergizing and building off the work of others. • PhD student/ faculty / senior practitioner level: Focus on depth, while obtaining perspective and learning the essentials quickly.
Is technological change really more rapid today than, say, in 1940 or 1960? Are today’s engineers able to deal with concept innovation better? Aerospace engineering requires depth of understanding. Engineering curricula are designed on the reasoning that a firm foundation in basic disciplines gives the graduate a lifetime to gain breadth. The intense, demanding and rigorous college experience also instills confidence and persistence to approach tough problems. Traditional curriculum with linear course sequences coming together in senior-year “capstone” design experiences, was appropriate for Cold War era, large-company recruiting that emphasized corporate training after school. Small-team requires better comprehension levels, experience and perspective through research participation and other learning by iteration. Depth and breadth compete for shrinking learning time.
SUCCESSES – AND ISSUES ENCOUNTERED • Target is depth of understanding and breadth of capabilities: encounters stiff • resistance from “experienced” students who “know” what should be taught. • - freshmen complained about intense calculations and learning in 1st 6 weeks of • conceptual design assignment (short-range airliner), but then repeated those calculations in 1 week (LH2 fuelled short-range airliner) and then did the essential parts of the design as one of six questions on a 3-hour final. • Seniors in AE3021 had a good deal of trouble with the small conceptual design • part preceding supersonic airplane drag calculation. Concept of developing a • “figure of merit” for a given design from the ideal, was missed by most. • Graduate students in AE6020 (transonic and hypersonic aerodynamics) were in • deep trouble as the availability of “assumed” undergraduate knowledge and examples made “thought” questions fair game on closed book tests; several then did extremely well on take-home open-ended, integrative “final exam”. Some still not “get” the idea that one was expected to deliver well-thought-out quantitative answers, not just “suggestions”.
CONCLUSIONS Attempt to deal with the issues of learning across disciplines in order to turn advanced concepts into reality. It is founded on the core knowledge of aerospace science and engineering, but Uses a Conceptual Design gateway to make this knowledge quickly accessible and usable. Intense effort to develop a library of worked examples is a key feature in opening the knowledge base to different types of learners. At this writing, the initial test website is up with a substantial amount of core content, and a number of resource modules and case studies are being refined and uploaded. Results to-date show that we are “getting traction” and dealing with real issues. Students are indeed doing much better than they could before - when they pay attention to the new expectations and use the resources.
Assessment Prototype: High Speed Aerodynamics http://www.surveymonkey.com