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On Line Video Based Training For Matlab, Mathcad And Maple

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2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Emerging Trends in Engineering Education Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

11.970.1 - 11.970.4



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Paper Authors


Colin Campbell Corp.

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Colin Campbell works with professors in Engineering at the University of Waterloo assisting them integrate mathematical software into their courses for the purpose of design and simulation. Colin graduated from Waterloo's "Co-op Applied Math with Engineering Electives" programme in 1982. Colin is the owner of Corporation which develops on-line video-based training courses, with an engineering leaning, for mathematical software such as MATLAB, Mathcad and Maple.

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

On-line Video-based Training for MATLAB, Maple and Mathcad

1. Abstract

This paper presents experiences creating and using video-based training for MATLAB, Maple and Mathcad over the Internet with engineering students at the author's university. The author is also the owner of the company that produced the MATLAB Mastery and Maple Mastery video-based courses. The Mathcad videos, entitled Mathcad CBT, were produced by the makers of Mathcad.

Courses benefit from these video-based courses because professors do not have to take time away from their lectures to train students in the use of the software. Also professors can spend less of their office hours answering software questions. This form of software instruction has been used successfully at the author's university to train large groups of students (as many as 1,000 at once).

2. Introduction

Use of video-based training over the Internet is nothing new [1]. The only major hurdle is the work creating the video materials. In our case we used the very popular Camtasia Studio from Techsmith [2] to capture video and audio of ourselves demonstrating the software. The majority of time is not taken up with recording, but rather with scripting the lessons (at least 100 hours scripting per recorded hour).

One of the author's first experiences with video-based training was the creation of a home-grown video-based course on Mathcad. It was designed to solve the problem of teaching Mathcad to 1,000 freshmen for use in their Linear Algebra courses. With no other instruction, the students were able to learn Mathcad and apply it proficiently to their homework problems.

Without the videos we would have had to have conducted 60 “live” hands-on tutorials on Mathcad. This would not have been practical, consequently the plan to integrate Mathcad into the course would have been scrapped.

The course was broken up into Lessons (e.g. Calculus), and each lesson was divided into Steps (e.g. Differentiation). At the end of each step's video a summary screen reminded the students of what they had to make their Mathcad screen look like to match the video. Steps were about 3-5 minutes long.

Students could pause and replay parts of the video that they didn't understand on first viewing – something which is not readily accomplished with instructor-lead courses! They could also view the videos at any time over the Internet.

Compared with printed tutorials, the video-based lessons gave students a constant and unambiguous view of exactly what was being demonstrated, along with concise verbal explanations. The transfer of information is therefore much more efficient because the students don't have to decipher printed notes.

The following sections describe commercial video-based courses, and our experiences with them at our university - with engineering students mainly.

Campbell, C. (2006, June), On Line Video Based Training For Matlab, Mathcad And Maple Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--1067

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