This study reformed teaching materials for automatic control, a mandatory course for engineering students, and designed a set of digital teaching materials based upon progressive reasoning with hand-mind combinations. The teaching materials were mainly delivered via a hands-on APP. The authors conducted an empirical study as well as pre-tests and post-tests for a total of 118 sophomore students majoring in engineering at two Universities. Outcomes found that the progressive reasoning teaching materials designed for this course were helpful in improving student creativity and scientific reasoning. Significant improvements were also achieved in product design, technical methods, and technological ideas aspects of technological creativity and every scientific reasoning skill, with the exception of proportional reasoning. Results also identified strong correlation between technical creativity and scientific reasoning. This relationship may be further investigated in follow-up studies. This study also proposed recommendations for coordinating designs of digital teaching materials in other engineering courses with the development of student thinking.
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