An online system to help students successfully solve statics problems

Research output: Contribution to journalConference Articlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Engineering Statics is often the first core engineering course that many students take. Most students do not find it to be conceptually difficult, but are often overwhelmed by the myriad of small decisions that they must get correct if they are going to successfully solve a problem. Too often, this causes a student to question if he/she should continue to study engineering. Described herein is an online computerized leaning system, called ARCHIMEDES, which helps students overcome the major obstacles to success in Statics. The system allows the student to draw freebody diagrams and write free-form equilibrium equation in the same way as they would with paper and pencil. At key times in the process, the system assesses the student's work and gives immediate feedback on the correctness, completeness, and consistency of his/her solution. The instant feedback allows students to correct errors early and avoid the fruitless efforts that result from errors made during the early parts of a solution. A pilot study has been conducted to quantitatively assess the effectiveness of the new system in helping students successfully solve problems in Statics; over 65% of the students felt that ARCHIMEDES helped build their confidence in solving Statics problems. Additionally, 65% of the students also felt that using ARCHIMEDES would help them improve their grade and half wanted to have it available for the remainder of the semester.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings
StatePublished - 2009
Event2009 ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - Austin, TX, United States
Duration: Jun 14 2009Jun 17 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Engineering


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