Effects of computer animated instruction upon cognition of undergraduates in an agricultural power technology course



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Texas Tech University


The utilization of visual elaboration has been a key component of the educational process for instmctors of agricultural power technology. Traditionally, still illustration and representatives of real equipment (realia) have been utilized to teach the hidden theoretical concepts that comprise the most basic operational processes of the internal combustion engine and its accompanying systems. Exponential technology advancement has allowed the development of a new mode of visual elaboration in the form of highquality computer generated animation.

This dissertation, which utilized the dual coding theory as a theoretical framework, is the first of its kind to compare the use of traditional visual elaboration in agricultural power technology with that of the traditional methods and the added component of computer-generated animation. Computer-generated animations are most effective when used with topics that are abstract, vague, hidden or too fast or slow to view. When applied to operational theory of common internal combustion engines, animation is a natural fit. Animation must also be utilized with suitable content and an appropriate learner in order to be effective.

Animations are beneficial when compared to still illustration and realia because they offer the benefit of motion and trajectory. The study sought to identify any significant benefits that would result from the addition of animation to an agricultural power technology lesson.