Although there are many stimulating and practical applications for system dynamics and automatic control, students often find the material too abstract, too mathematical, and difficult to master when it is presented in lectures. The difficulties experienced by students in learning system dynamics and controls include the following: (1) Dynamic and control systems are interdisclipinary in nature and require complex mathematical expressions that were taught in previous courses. (2) Computer simulation and hands-on experiments are necessary in order for the students to fully appreciate the basic concepts of automatic control. (3) Lecture hours are insufficient to provide both the theory and real-world applications of system modeling and automatic control. In order to overcome these problems, an interactive multimedia software tool that allows the students to explore the design space was developed. We discuss here the role of technology as it can be applied in teaching system dynamics and control. The primary goal of this work is to build a tool that assists students in learning system dynamics and control by providing a link between control system design (CSD) theory and laboratory learning. Specifically, the materials developed provide support in three different forms of instruction; labs, lectures and homework.

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