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Web Based Visualization: An Innovative Approach To Providing Technical Instruction

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

ET Curriculum & Design Issues

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.1462.1 - 10.1462.17



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Paper Authors

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Rafael Obregon

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Kevin Hall

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


Kevin W. Hall, Rafael Obregón

Engineering Technology, Western Illinois University


For some time, computer graphics and illustrations have been used to convey information between customers and suppliers and between teachers and students. Procedures and tools used to convey information have dramatically changed. However, one idea has not: Graphical information can be interpreted more quickly and more accurately than information transmitted through written or spoken language.

Today, there is an increasing demand for visualization tools in both manufacturing and education. Visualization is presently used to clarify or convey ideas, to overcome language barriers, to enable information to be swiftly processed, and to storyboard process change. Visualization proves to be an invaluable tool in every facet of the manufacturing process. In industry, graphical information is utilized in the areas of product design and development, facilities design, and in the marketing of manufactured goods. Visualization is important for process improvement, providing workplace instructions, and to ensure safety. In traditional education, approaches to visualization have included text illustrations, films, overheads, chalk- board sketches, and physical prototypes; two primary limitations with these visualization approaches have been interactiveness and/or accessibility.

In some engineering and technology-related programs, the use of visualization in a web-based environment has the potential for bringing workforce practices to students. More importantly, web-based environments allow visualizations to be interactive, and a variety of concepts can be taught over any distance. Technical instruction does not have to be purely facilitative; instruction can be effectively designed to be interactive and to provide students with control over their learning process. Effective web-based instruction involves a synthesis of cognitive theory, instructional technology, understanding student needs, and understanding the distance education technology available.

Unfortunately, with web-enhanced technical education, educators often struggle with learning effective Instructional Technology practices, with different educational philosophies, and in the selection of necessary tools for reaching educational objectives. The creation of complex geometric virtual prototypes, the production of videos, or the development of web-sites are often viewed as daunting tasks. With a web-based generation of learners, expectations involving visual learning are extremely high. However, there are many easy and effective approaches to using web-based visualization in the design and development of technical curriculum and instruction.

“Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education”

Obregon, R., & Hall, K. (2005, June), Web Based Visualization: An Innovative Approach To Providing Technical Instruction Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--14280

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