The 2010 Premier Award for Excellence in Engineering Education Courseware was awarded today to two entries: Greenfoot Integrated Development Environment (Greenfoot), submitted by Poul Henriksen, Michael Kölling, Davin McCall and Marion Zalk, and Dynamics Animations, submitted by Richard Stanley.
The award was presented at the Premier Award Ceremony at the Frontiers in Education Conference, held this year in in Washington, D.C. The award-winning courseware was distributed on CD ROM at the FIE Conference and is also available online.This year’s panel of judges comprised a diverse cross-section of experts in engineering education and interactive media. Sponsors of the award program are John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Microsoft Research, TechSmith and MathWorks.
Greenfoot is a pedagogical tool for teaching computer programming that allows students to use the full Java programming language to create games and simulations. The Greenfoot system greatly enhances student motivation while reinforcing object-oriented programming concepts. Greenfoot is a resource that can be used by instructors to support their teaching of programming concepts through the use of animation and process scenarios. Students instantiate objects into an onscreen world and then create Java code that causes the object, generally a character related to the scenario, to perform certain actions and responses to other objects encountered in the surroundings. The Greenfoot Integrated Development Environment provides facilities for sharing programming resources and usage advice as well as to post finished programming projects that are of general and entertainment interest to student users.
The Dynamics Animations are interactive animation software for an introductory dynamics course. The web-based animation is directly linked to a dynamics assignment, and no programming is required of the user. The software is designed to guide students to expose and explore dynamics concepts—and misconceptions. The software provides considerable choice to the user regarding the depth of exploration. Novice students may vary only the required parameter to answer the question that is being asked. For more experienced students, faculty can ask more complicated questions involving the same scenarios; these advanced scenarios typically require changing additional parameters.
The Premier Award competition, hosted by the NEEDS/Engineering Pathway digital libraries, is open to a wide range of submissions of “high-quality, non-commercial courseware designed to enhance engineering education.” The Premier Award program has been underway for 14 years and has honored 26 winners over this time. More details on the Premier Award and current and previous winners can be found on the Engineering Pathway at: http://www.engineeringpathway.org/ep/premier/
The Engineering Pathway is a portal to high-quality teaching and learning resources in applied science and math, engineering, computer science/information technology and engineering technology, for use by K-12 and university educators and students. Engineering Pathway is the engineering education “wing” of the National Science Digital Library (NSDL).