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Enhanced interactivity and engagement: Learning by doing to simplify mathematical concepts in computer graphics and animation

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1 Author(s)
Elyan, E. ; Sch. of Comput., Robert Gordon Univ., Aberdeen, UK

Interactive 3D Animation is a module that is taught at the School of Computing for fourth year students. Amongst the learning outcomes of this module is the understanding and use of B-Splines, Bezier Curves, Free Form Deformation (FFD), hierarchal modeling, and inverse and forward kinematics. Such concepts appear to be challenging to students and demanding to the instructors. In this paper we present an intuitive, practical and non-mathematical approach to teach students these concepts. During the lecture, and before introducing the formal definitions of these topics, the students are asked to carry out simple and short activities using an appropriate software tool. These activities are closely related to the topic to be discussed and followed by questions and discussion. Finally, formal definitions are introduced to give a mathematical meaning to what the students have already done. Overall, results indicate that engaging students in practical activities and reflecting on these activities help them better understand some of the challenging mathematical theories.

Published in:

Global Engineering Education Conference (EDUCON), 2012 IEEE

Date of Conference:

17-20 April 2012