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A Case for Scaffolded Virtual Prototyping Tutorial Case-Studies in Engineering Education

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By permitting designers to realistically, accurately and quantitatively prototype and test multiple intermediate models within virtual environment, Virtual Prototyping (VP), also known as Simulation-Based Design (SBD), has rapidly gained popularity and become a crucial part of most engineering design processes. While there is a significant demand from industry for students trained in this methodology, currently there is not much room in engineering curricula to permit widespread adoption in the lecture-based classroom. It is possible to develop a rationale and its various stages for a series of web-based and self-paced scaffolded VP tutorial case-studies targeted at students on a course in machine and mechanism design. These undergraduate seniors are permitted to: (1) interactively explore the process of creating engineering analysis models in an integrated VP environment; (2) develop skills for interactive SBD of models; and (3) develop their engineering judgment by interactive exploration of a spectrum of examples. The outcome of a phased introduction of these exercises and our experience based on a number of successful courses offering are also discussed.
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  • This journal serves as an international interdisciplinary forum of reference for engineering education.
    A balance between papers on developments in educational methods technology, case studies, laboratory applications, new theoretical approaches, educational policy and survey papers is aimed for.
    Comprehensive coverage of new education schemes and techniques makes the journal a unique source of ideas for engineering educators who are keen to keep abreast of latest developments in educational applications in all fields of engineering.
    Some of the areas covered more extensively in recent issues are: CAD, CAE, computer applications in teaching thermodynamics, material science, electrical engineering, new courses and curricula, engineering management, control engineering, mechanical engineering, engineering design, student evaluation and institutional accreditation.
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