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Many students today are visual learners and little inclined to study printed materials or text-based online courses. Animations can serve as effective multimedia tools to engage these students while facilitating and enhancing the student learning experience by explaining difficult concepts through visual means instead of the traditional way of heavy textual based presentation. The importance of animations would further be realized especially when the courses are offered at distance mode where students have to rely solely on the course materials to gain in-depth understanding. The University of Southern Queensland (USQ) in Australia is internationally recognized for its external delivery of courses. In this paper, we discuss the design and delivery of animations for two courses namely Public health Engineering and Geology and Geomechanics that are normally perceived to be challenging by civil and environmental engineering undergraduates. A new and innovative teaching approach was required to facilitate the students' learning of these unfamiliar materials in these courses. Animations including multimedia facilities were conceived as a better way of presenting the concepts to the students. In this paper, we discuss and further evaluate the overall performance of students as a result of introducing animations into the curriculum.
Frontiers in Education Conference (FIE), 2010 IEEE
Date of Conference: 27-30 Oct. 2010