Teaching Advanced Vehicle Dynamics with "Understand-Crawl-Walk-Run" Approach

  • Sangram Redkar
Keywords: Vehicle Dynamics, Engineering Education


This paper presents an interesting teaching experiment carried out at XXX University. The author offered a new course in computational/analytical vehicle dynamics to senior undergraduate students, graduate students and practicing engineers. The objective of the course was to present vehicle dynamics theory with practical applications using MSC-ADAMS. The class composition was quite diverse. Some students had more than 20 years of industrial experience and some undergraduate students had little or no industrial experience. In order to help individual student to meet his or her learning goals, the author (instructor) adopted a project based learning approach. Even though project based learning is successfully used in STEM education. The methodology adopted while presenting project based learning was different and based upon 'understand-crawl-walk-run' approach. In the 'understand-crawl-walk-run' approach, students are presented with theory concepts along with in class tutorials where the instructor discusses each step in detail, students are assigned home-works that strengthen the understanding and then finally assigned a real life project that forces them to 'think outside the box'. The emphasis in the initial stages (understand-crawl) is to make students aware of the capabilities and limitations of software used to solve vehicle dynamics problem. This leads to development of 'engineering-sense' which is the ability to make sense from the results obtained from the software. In this paper, we present this project based learning approach adopted to deliver material. The 'understand-crawl-walk-run' approach adopted in the course and some interesting real life projects done by students. We also present the results of student survey, assessment, student learning objectives and course evaluation results.