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Impact Assessment of a Microprocessor Animation on Student Learning and Motivation in Computer Engineering

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3 Author(s)
Ferens, K. ; Dept. of Electr. & Comput. Eng., Manitoba Univ., Winnipeg, Man. ; Friesen, M. ; Ingram, S.

This paper reports on the impact of using custom animation software to teach second/third year computer/electrical engineering students in the microprocessing systems course at the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB, Canada. Over the span of 13 years' experience with teaching the course, the difficulties and limitations with conventional lectures and visual aids led to the development of custom animation of the course material to provide an additional teaching modality to teach the complex and abstract subject matter more effectively. The custom animation software consists of the ability to create and/or modify microinstructions, create and/or modify macroinstructions, and animate the execution of instructions (using the "water-flowing through pipes" analogy) by showing address and data transmission juxtaposed against an animated clock. A postunit, mixed method survey administered to students reveals substantial cognitive gains and modest motivational outcomes, reinforcing the animation's effectiveness and sparking motivation for further research

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Education, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:50 ,  Issue: 2 )