A Case Study in the Use of Animated Visual Models in Communications Engineering Education

A Case Study in the Use of Animated Visual Models in Communications Engineering Education

Abstract

The presentation of communication protocols in a traditional lecture format is problematic. Many of the systems and algorithms in common use are dynamic in operation and difficult to understand from static diagrams or verbal descriptions; and engineering students often have a visual learning style and would be expected to gain a more intuitive understanding of systems from seeing them working. This paper reports a study into the use of a series of animated simulation tools in lectures for a sophomore course in communications protocols. The approach has won widespread praise from students, as well as winning a national award for engineering education, and the models have been adopted by several universities worldwide.

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