Learning Environment for Automated System Integration (LearnASI)
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Engineering - Engineering Technology (58)The project is developing, evaluating, and disseminating a web-based system called Learning Environment for Automated System Integration that is helping students and new engineers learn system integration concepts. The approach includes animations and tutorials on system integration concepts and procedures; detailed case studies on the design of automated systems; intelligent problem-solving environments that will allow students to design and test automated systems; and an online community where students, engineers, and instructors can exchange ideas about system integration. These tools serve as a resource both for undergraduate courses related to engineering design, computer-aided manufacturing, or industrial automation and for new engineers working in the system integration industry. The approach complements existing instructional materials and equipment, provides opportunities to practice system integration skills outside of scheduled lab times, and serves as a virtual laboratory for educational institutions with limited equipment resources. The materials are being used in seven courses at the principal investigator''s institution and at two collaborating minority serving institutions. The evaluation efforts are using structured interviews, surveys, analyses of user activity web logs and student products to characterize the usability and instructional effectiveness of the developed material. The investigators are disseminating their material and results through website postings that are linked to the NSDL and to other digital libraries such as NJCATE and NETAEC, through conference presentation, through journal publications, and through the ATE National Center on Manufacturing Education. Broader impacts include the dissemination of the materials and the focus on underrepresented groups.