Publication Date


Document Type

Conference Proceeding

Publication Title

ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings




Large class sizes in engineering programs often prevent instructors from providing detailed and meaningful feedback to students on their homework problems. While the literature shows that frequent and immediate formative feedback has several benefits in terms of knowledge gain and academic motivation, several instructors struggle to provide any feedback. Motivated by this inability, a sketch-based virtual tutoring system, named Mechanix, has been developed and implemented. Mechanix lets the students to sketch their freebody diagram on a virtual interface and the process involved is very close to using a pencil and paper. The system provides real-time feedback on the accuracy of their Freebody diagrams and the solution to the problem. This paper reports the implementation of Mechanix at two large public universities in the United States - Georgia Institute of Technology and Texas State University. Mechanix is used to solve specific assignments from each school that involve the use of freebody diagrams. Pre- and post- concept inventories are used to measure the improvements in the conceptual understanding of the students. The results show that students who solve their homework using Mechanix outperform their peers who do not in one school, whereas the results are similar across the two groups in the second school. The evaluation of the concept inventories shows that the students who used Mechanix has the same level of improvement in their conceptual knowledge compared to the control group.

Funding Number


Funding Sponsor

National Science Foundation


Dynamics, Engineering education, FBD, Sketch, Statics


© 2020 American Society for Engineering Education


Mechanical Engineering