New Orleans, Louisiana
June 26, 2016
June 26, 2016
August 28, 2016
Continuing Professional Development
Research has shown that engineers are considerably more visual than the general population and that engineers prefer more visual multimedia materials for continuing engineering education (CEE). These materials include, for example, photographs, drawings, videos, animations, and virtual reality. Research also has shown that multi-image presentations can enhance learning. Therefore, it is argued that multi-image presentations can enhance CEE.
The use of multiple simultaneous images was popular some time ago but does not appear to be as popular today, except in large rooms where multiple screens are used to permit viewers around the room to better see the content no matter where they are seated. However, true multi-image presentations simultaneously show different content on different screens, rather than merely duplicating the same content on multiple screens. Years ago, multi-image presentations were made using slide projectors with images fading in and out with appropriate synchronization, sometimes on as many as five screens, although two or three were more common. Creating those presentations was challenging given the available technology and required expensive equipment and skilled instructional designers. Creating such presentations today is much easier given the use of computers instead of slide projectors and sophisticated but easy-to-use software such as PowerPoint that can be used to control the timing of displaying content.
There are some potential benefits of using multiple screens besides enhancing learning. One is that it may provide a better view for all students in a classroom by better distributing the visual content. Using multiple screens makes it more likely students will be close to at least one of the screens so they should have less difficulty seeing the projected materials. Another is that multiple screens provide an enhanced method to compare and contrast content compared to a single screen. The content can be larger since it is being displayed on more than one screen which usually makes comparison easier. Another benefit is that duplication of displays provides a backup in case one of the projection systems breaks down.
There are some potential problems related to using multiple screens. The first is the added expense of having more than one projection system in a classroom. However, technology today is relatively inexpensive so the added cost is typically small. Depending on the shape and configuration of the room (e.g., a narrow room), multiple screens may mean they have to be smaller than a single larger screen to fit into the available space. That means individual images would then be smaller when projected onto multiple smaller screens compared to a single larger screen. The fact that multiple screens are available to view should compensate for the smaller image size. Another problem is related to viewability when different content is displayed simultaneously on different screens. If a student is sitting on the far side of the room, they may have difficulty seeing a different image being shown on a screen on the other side of the room. This could particularly be a problem for students sitting close to a screen on one side which could make it more difficult to see a screen on the other side of the room. This is only an issue if different content is being displayed on the screens simultaneously. The distance from the closest seat to the screens could be increased to compensate for this viewing angle problem.
This paper will review the relevant literature on multi-image presentations, describe how a multi-image presentation was used in a research study that considered CEE preferences, discuss the potential benefits and problems of using multi-image presentations, and provide some recommendations on how to use multi-image presentations in CEE along with some potential areas for future research.
Baukal, C. E., & Ausburn, F. B., & Ausburn, L. J. (2016, June), Using Multi-Image Presentations to Enhance Continuing Engineering Education Paper presented at 2016 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, New Orleans, Louisiana. 10.18260/p.27154
ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2016 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015