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Java Enabled Opto Electronic Learning Tools And A Supporting Framework

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.665.1 - 6.665.12

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Paper Authors

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Bina Ramamurthy

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Pratibha Gopalam

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Alexander N. Cartwright

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 3532

Java Enabled Opto-Electronic Learning Tools and A Supporting Framework

Pratibha Gopalam, Alexander N. Cartwright, Electrical Engineering Bina Ramamurthy, Computer Science and Engineering University at Buffalo, State University of New York


The use of multimedia tools over the World Wide Web is an extremely desirable instructional method. Unintentionally this has created a maze of online tutorials and demonstrations with huge amounts of information in disarray. In addition, Cognitive theories, like Active Learning and Experiential Learning, applicable to the engineering domain, sermonize modeling, problem resolution and problem visualization as the key elements in instruction. In this paper, we present some of our work on building user configurable Java Applets for education in photonics (lasers and optics). These include design Applets for laser principles that illustrate optical ray tracing systems, population inversion, and 3-D visualization of optical polarization.

This paper focuses on the design and implementation of user-controlled context based educational resources. A design-based learning experience using Java Applets and the multiple facets of the design and development of such a software system is described. Specifically, an initial object-oriented framework that emphasizes key elements of design like reusability, flexibility, modularity and extensibility is provided. This framework is developed for the design of educational Java Applets that provide user configurable simulation environments. The six key elements of the framework are: Components, Strategy objects, Singleton objects, Visitor objects, Toolkits and Containers. Moreover, methods to initialize Applets using design windows and HTML tags are presented. This framework provides basic guidelines for developing user- configurable Java simulation environments for use in any science or engineering field.


Research in engineering education has clearly identified the need for improving teaching styles to match the vast spectrum of learning styles [1,2]. R. M. Felder and L. K. Silverman, in their paper “Learning and Teaching Styles in Engineering Education” [1], provide an excellent discussion of learning and teaching styles. Felder clearly describes how specific teaching styles can be adopted to address various learning styles found among students [2]. These variations in learning are classified as 32 different possible learning styles. For clarity, we have repeated the summary table from pg. 675 of Felder’s paper [1] in Table 1. It is important to realize that people do not neatly fall into any particular learning style but that there is a continuum of learning styles. For example, it is possible for both visual and verbal teaching to be equally effective for a

Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2001, American Society for Engineering Education

Ramamurthy, B., & Gopalam, P., & Cartwright, A. N. (2001, June), Java Enabled Opto Electronic Learning Tools And A Supporting Framework Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico.

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