Interactive Self-Study Module: Degrees of Freedom


This module uses screencasts and interactive simulations to explain how degrees of freedom are used to establish whether a problem can be solved with the given information. It then provides example problems and ConcepTests to allow the user to test themselves. Your retention of material in this module will increase if you write down reasons for your answers to ConcepTests, questions in screencasts, and questions to answer before using interactive simulations, and if you try to solve the example problems before watching the screencast solutions. We suggest using the learning resources in the following order:

  1. Attempt to answer the multiple choice ConcepTest and solve the example problem before watching the screencasts or working with the simulations.
  2. Watch the screencasts that introduce the concept of degrees of freedom and answer the questions within the screencasts.
  3. Review important equations for degrees of freedom.
  4. Use the interactive simulation to further understand how to calculate degrees of freedom.
  5. Try to solve the example problems before watching the solutions in the screencasts.
  6. Answer the ConcepTests.
  7. Look at the list of key points, but only after you try to list the key points yourself.
  • Degrees of freedom are used to establish whether a problem can be solved with the given information. 
  • This module is intended for a material and energy balances course.
After studying this module, you should be able to:
  • Determine if a system is sufficiently specified so that it can be solved.