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Instructional Design and Technology

Henry Tan's picture

Some topics on instructional design and technology may benefit iMechanica.

• New possibilities and proven practices: teaching with blogs, wikis, and discussion boards
• Critical approaches to teaching with technology
• Teaching with podcasts
• Designing and developing e-learning materials: when and where should teachers invest in design
• Multimedia: value, depth and access to other learning styles
• Supporting teaching and learning with mobile technologies
• The art of supporting educational technology: opportunities & challenges


Zhigang Suo's picture

Here is a podcast of an interview with Tim O'Reilly on Web 2.0 and Education.   O'Reilly's essay, What is Web 2.0, has been a major inspiration of iMechanica.

Dear Henry,

Thanks for bringing up an interesting topic. I was thinking of posting something similar in my own blog. Since you bring up the general topic, now, I go right here with a comment. ...

... I wanted to know if anyone had any experience of using any of software programs, packages, or platforms, for designing courseware for computer-based training.

I can find quite a few links at the Wiki article on CBT. But no reviews by the users.

I once used a CBT program for learning C++. That was way back in 1994. The program ran on DOS! The course content was sub-divided into modules. After presenting the concepts, there were quick multiple-choice questions of increasing difficulty. The program must have got a very excellent parser, because it let one write program-fragments and test them in real time. It could pin-point the errors very nicely, almost like a human tutor. The program took out a lot of initial fear about C++ programming. (Unfortunately, I do not remember the name of the program--it came bundled with a book that taught Turbo C++, the precursor to Borland C++.) So, CBT has been around for a long time.

Anyways, now, I was wondering what CBT-ware using things like graphics, animations and even simulations could do in simplifying the teaching of the mechanics-related topics: mechanics of rigid bodies (esp. the dynamics topics where 3D visualization of motions is involved), strength of materials (think of on-the-fly applied BCs), numerical analysis, FEM, etc. (BTW, is "CBT-ware" a word at all?)

I would appreciate if people could share their user-experiences of different CBT-authoring software. ... If the need be, I suppose there could even be a separate thread for review of such software, but, first, there has to be enough of a feedback. (Reviews of commercial packages are welcome too.)

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