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The design, development and evolution of Web-based materials featuring computer-animated simulations

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4 Author(s)
Villareal, S. ; Dept. of Eng. Technol., Texas A&M Univ., College Station, TX, USA ; Wynn, C. ; Eastwood, D. ; Zoghi, B.

In this paper, we review the design, development and evaluation of our initial desktop CAI/CAS modules in two stages before presenting our experience in developing and evaluating these materials in a web-based format. In the initial stage of desktop CAI development, we obtained valuable insight into ways to improve the animated simulations through informal student feedback and ongoing formative evaluation. We note that presentation time in both lecture and lab are significantly reduced by applying these modules. The second stage of desktop CAI evaluation began after most of the suggestions from the initial stage had been incorporated. The evaluation of the desktop CAI in the second stage consists of a more direct measurement comparing pre-test and post-test scores for students conducting lab exercises in either the traditional hands-on assignment or in the CAI/CAS format. This study also shows no statistical difference between the two groups of students. However, this review demonstrates the importance of student feedback in both formative and summative evaluations and several key benefits of the CAI/CAS format. Lastly, this paper presents our development strategy for enhancing these materials and for converting them into a web-based format. Due to our disappointing experience with commercial web-authoring software, our strategy changed to a "from scratch" approach using inexpensive and easy to use web-based development tools. Cost for these tools, development time estimates and results of an informal evaluation of our first two web-based modules are also reported.

Published in:

Frontiers in Education Conference, 1998. FIE '98. 28th Annual  (Volume:2 )

Date of Conference:

4-7 Nov. 1998