Development of educational technology

Teaching and learning with technology

The Einstein research group has developed educational technology tools since the early 1970s. These include computational software developed for research and applied to teaching as well as software developed specifically for teaching and learning. The following tools are used in current geotechnical engineering subjects at MIT.

Physical Geology Tutor
The Physical Geology Tutor (PGT) includes an online illustrated textbook, a quiz module, and, most importantly, a “workbook” module that simulates geology field trips, in which students see and identify geologic features on screen. The PGT is used in 1.38 Engineering Geology.
Mechanics Modules
The Mechanics Modules are interactive modules for learning fundamental concepts of mechanics, such as equilibrium and internal stresses. The modules are used in 1.381 Rock Mechanics.
Stereonet Module
The Stereonet Module learning tool enables students to solve three-dimensional problems in rocks by describing planes and defining, rotating, and translating rock bodies bounded by the planes in 3-D space. The tool can be used in a simplified mode, where students input the geometry and see a solution to the mechanical problem; students can also solve increasingly complex problems on their own. The Stereonet Module is used in 1.38 Engineering Geology and 1.381 Rock Mechanics.
The Tunnelliner learning tool uses a closed form analytical solution for designing a tunnel liner. The interactive Tunnelliner program is implemented in Matlab, and includes a graphical user interface for defining geometry and material properties as input and obtaining graphs of stresses and displacements as output. Tunnelliner is used in 1.383 Underground Construction.
Decision Aids for Tunneling
The DAT tunnel construction simulation tool takes geologic and construction uncertainties as input and computes cost v. time, time v. distance, and time v. resource distributions, which are then used for risk analysis. DAT is used in term projects in 1.383 Underground Construction as well as M. Eng. theses.
Synergy of teaching and education research

See IT-based interactive tools for all software developed by the Einstein group and related research publications.