IT professor lands $250,000 grant to create virtual testing simulation

IT professor lands $250,000 grant to create virtual testing simulation


Karl Kapp Karl Kapp, professor of instructional technology, in partnership with Sinclair Community College in Dayton, Ohio, and the National Office of Project Lead the Way has recently been awarded a three year $250,000 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) Advanced Technology Education (ATE) program.

The project is to create and disseminate an open source, online virtual tensile strength testing simulation. Materials created from this project will be utilized by undergraduate engineering technology students and pre-engineering high school students in the Project Lead the Way network of 4,215 schools nationwide.

The project activities are to:

  • Develop an open source, virtual, online tensile testing laboratory simulation.
  • Conduct research to compare the costs and learning outcomes for using on-site, hands-on tensile testing equipment compared with an online simulation.
  • Create close industry ties through blended learning opportunities for students.
  • Disseminate the simulation via faculty development.

Kapp, serving as a co-principle investigator on the project, will be investigating the concepts that that online learning can improve outcomes and simultaneously reduce instructional costs related to tensile strength testing. Dr. Kapp and the investigation team believe the virtual simulator has the potential to improve learning based on research indicating that simulation games can engage and motivate students and improve learning rates and knowledge retention.

The project has the potential to provide fundamental improvements in teaching and learning through technology. The project will have a comprehensive assessment of student learning, and a quasi-experimental research design, to determine the impact of the simulator on students and their instructors compared to traditional learning without the simulator.

This is the second NSF grant to which Dr. Kapp has been named a Co-Principle Investigator. He is currently serving in the last year of a five year grant funded by the NSF Discovery Research (DR) K-12 program. The project, Simulations and Modeling in Technology Education (SMTE) researched the potential of a hybrid instructional model to blend computer gaming and physical modeling using tools and materials.

The project, was done in conjunction with Hofstra University. The grant team designed a four-week-long 3D computer game called Survival Master and a companion physical modeling curriculum specifically for middle school engineering and technology education students and teachers based on the Standards for Technological Literacy. Project is compared student learning and engagement in gaming with more traditional physical modeling delivery modes. #AcademicExcellence #CollaborativeLearning