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Using Java To Develop Interactive Learning Material For The World Wide Web

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1996 Annual Conference


Washington, District of Columbia

Publication Date

June 23, 1996

Start Date

June 23, 1996

End Date

June 26, 1996



Page Count


Page Numbers

1.511.1 - 1.511.13

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Paper Authors

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Benjamin 'Quincy' Cabell VI

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Javed Alam

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Joseph Rencis University of Arkansas

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

Session 3268

Using Java to Develop Interactive Learning Material for the World-Wide Web 2 Benjamin “ Quincy” Cabell VI and Joseph J. Rencis Mechanical Engineering Department Worcester Polytechnic Institute Worcester, MA 01609-2280 3 Javed Alam Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering Youngstown State University Youngstown, OH 44555


Java has recently emerged as a powerful programming language for developing platform-independent, interactive and computational based software that can be used on the World-Wide Web through a Java-enabled Web browser. The paper introduces the Java programming language, its advantages and disadvantages, and its characteristics for developing interactive instructional applications on the World-Wide Web. The interactive and computational capabilities of Java are demonstrated through a simple matrix assembly applet (a piece of networked software). This applet allows the student to assemble element equations into the global (assemblage) equations for the finite element method (FEM). The matrix assembly applet features a graphical user-friendly interface, on-line help and interactive feedback.

The authors are currently using Java to develop a prototype interactive learning tool for the one- dimensional bar element. The interactive learning tool for finite element method is called FEMur-CAL (Finite Element Method universal resource Computer-Assisted Learning). This FEM tool does not replace the conventional classroom experiences, but provides supplementary instruction to students who need extra help. The prototype will be integrated into the ‘Learn the Finite Element Method’ component of the Finite Element Method universal resource (FEMur). FEMur is a World-Wide Web site maintained by the authors of this paper and its Internet address is http ://


The development of the Internet, a network of networks, allows the interconnection of computers located at distant locations. The number of users and Internet hosts are growing at an exponential rate and there does not appear to be an end in sight. The Internet offers a great potential for the rapid, cost effective exchange of massive amounts of information. The introduction of hypertext transport protocol (HTTP) used in the current World-Wide Web (WWW, or the Web [1, 2]) project allows the FEMur development team to create information material in hypermedia format. It is a combination of Hypertext [3, 4] and multimedia. It allows one to combine information from such diverse sources as plain text, pictures, sound clips and animation/video clips to-create hypermedia documents using the Hypertext Markup Language (HTML). These documents are placed on a computer which acts as a WWW server allowing easy and instant access worldwide by anyone with access to a computer with Internet access and a WWW browser (such as Netscape/Mosaic [5, 6]).

1 Undergraduate Student z Associate Professor 3 Professor 1996 ASEE Annual Conference Proceedings ‘“-..!lyy’:

Cabell VI, B. Q., & Alam, J., & Rencis, J. (1996, June), Using Java To Develop Interactive Learning Material For The World Wide Web Paper presented at 1996 Annual Conference, Washington, District of Columbia.

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