Dissertations and Theses @ UNI


Open Access Dissertation


Tools--Design and construction--Study and teaching; Computer-assisted instruction;


This study was designed to compare student knowledge gain from learning modular fixturing design concepts by computer tutorial versus traditional lecture. The use of computer tutorial to support engineering and technology classroom instructions has been a major issue for many studies. The undergraduate curricula in engineering and technology are becoming increasingly complex due to the today's modern wide variety of manufacturing processes. The concept of modular fixturing in tool design course is one of the technical competencies which most industries would like graduates to be able to apply their knowledge to real-world problems and situations.

An interactive computerized multimedia tutorial named ToolTRAIN was developed and administered to undergraduate students in the Industrial Technology program at the University of Northern Iowa. By integrating information in a graphical manner such as 3D visualization through animation, ToolTRAIN demonstrated how several modular fixturing components can be assembled with a wide variety of workpieces.

A quasi-experimental design employing pre- and post-instruction tests was utilized for the study. Two preexisting groups of students were assigned to either the experimental or control group. Both groups were instructed on the same general topics covered in this study. A pretest was given to both groups. Three hours were used to teach the control group the concepts and theories of modular fixturing design concepts by lecture. On the other hand, the experimental group was expected to utilize ToolTRAIN for three hours. The posttest was administered to all subjects to measure knowledge gain of modular fixturing design concepts after the instruction. The data were analyzed using t tests to compare group mean of change scores. All hypotheses were tested at the .05 level of significance.

This research indicated that there were significant differences between the computer tutorial program and lecture method. The experimental (computer tutorial) group achieved significantly higher improvement in scores than the control (lecture) group. Also, the learning time actually spent using ToolTRAIN was less that for the control group.

Based on this research it was concluded that the ToolTRAIN interactive multimedia tutorial program can be used as an effective teaching method for modular fixturing design concepts. Future research should expand the sample size used in the investigation with tighter control of control group module content. ToolTRAIN can also be used for more complex concepts of modular fixturing system and applications.

Year of Submission


Degree Name

Doctor of Industrial Technology


Department of Industrial Technology

First Advisor

Ali E. Kashef, Chair

Second Advisor

Douglas T. Pine, Co-Chair

Date Original


Object Description

1 PDF file (ix, 123 pages)



File Format


Included in

Manufacturing Commons