This is a work-in-progress. A typical course in Vibrations primarily involves the study of the motion of single (SDOF) and multiple degree-of-freedom (MDOF) systems subjected to non-zero initial displacements or velocities (free response) and non-zero forces (forced response). The time-dependent nature of the motion, along with the sheer number of cases that are typically considered in an undergraduate-level class (SDOF: free response-undamped, underdamped, critically damped, overdamped; harmonic force response, periodic force response, general force response; MDOF: free response, forced harmonic response, natural frequencies and mode shapes) leads to many different solutions and approaches that the students are introduced to throughout the term without enabling them to see the physics of each response. To address this deficiency, we have developed eleven interactive simulation modules (ISMs) in MATLAB which depict the motion of the system under the aforementioned responses and allow the student to control many of the parameters of vibration to see the effect of each of them on the response. We are currently implementing these ISMs in a Vibrations course taught by one of the authors. A preliminary assessment of five of the ISMs has indicated that most students have found the ISMs to be very helpful in visualizing and understanding the topics that have been discussed in class. We intend to use the assessment of the students in the class to determine the effectiveness of providing these ISMs and improvements that may be implemented in the future.
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