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Designing a teaching guide for the use of simulations in undergraduate robotics courses: a pilot study

  • Salvador González-García
  • Jorge Rodríguez-ArceEmail author
  • Gerardo Loreto-Gómez
  • Víctor M. Montaño-Serrano
Original Paper

Abstract

In the educational area of engineering, there has been research using simulations to illustrate the concepts and exercises seen in class, as in the case of robotics course classes in which simulations have been used to demonstrate theoretical concepts. Results have been inconclusive whether or not the use of state-of-the-art simulations with traditional teaching methods improve the academic performance of students. From the point of view of the authors, some of these negative results could be because teachers do not receive any guidance on how to incorporate the use of simulations in their teaching strategy. This paper reports the evaluation of a platform to simulate industrial robots based on the MATLAB™ and Simulink™ environment. The platform was used by 3 teachers of undergraduate robotics courses. Each teacher was trained how to use the platform. For teachers of groups A and B, in addition to this training, they also received guidance on how to use the platform in their classes, while the teacher of group C freely decided on his own how to use the platform in his classes. In each group, the teacher covered the same topics about forward kinematics, and the same exercises were given to the students to solve during the practical sessions. As a result, students in groups A and B attained better academic performance compared to students of group C. This fact shows that it is necessary to train the professors not only in the use of the platform but also in the incorporation of this technology into their courses.

Keywords

Educational innovation Educational platforms Teaching strategy 3D simulations Tools for teaching 

Notes

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank the students who participated in the experiment during the robotics course of semester 2017B in the following universities: Instituto Tecnológico Superior de Uruapan, Tecnologico de Monterrey and Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México. The authors also would like to acknowledge the financial and the technical support of Writing Lab, TecLabs and Tecnologico de Monterrey, Mexico in the production of this work.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that there are no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag France SAS, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Departamento Regional de Computación y Mecatrónica, Escuela de Ingeniería y Ciencias Región CentroTecnologico de Monterrey Campus MoreliaMoreliaMexico
  2. 2.Facultad de Ingeniería, Universidad Autónoma del Estado de México, Ciudad Universitaria Cerro de Coatepec s/nColonia UniversidadTolucaMexico
  3. 3.Departamento de Ingeniería MecatrónicaInstituto Tecnologico Superior de UruapanUruapanMexico

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