Engineering Design Graphics Journal, Vol 80, No 3 (2016)

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Web-Compatible Graphics Visualization Framework for Online Instruction and Assessment of Hardware Concepts

Magesh Chandramouli, Siva-Teja Chittamuru


This paper explains the design of a graphics-based virtual environment for instructing computer hardware concepts to students, especially those at the beginner level. Photorealistic visualizations and simulationsare designed and programmed with interactive features allowing students to practice, explore, and test themselves on computer hardware and architecture concepts. Despite the essential lab-oriented nature ofhardware courses, theoretical knowledge is still a significant aspect of hardware and computer architecture courses. The use of a visual framework serves to reduce the cognitive load and alsofacilitates bridging the gap between lab and theory components. The framework includes virtual demonstrations that help students get familiarized with and understand the hardware concepts, practicethe exercises for as long as required, and also finally take self-assessment to evaluate mastery of the concepts. This framework greatly reduces the restrictions experienced in educational institutions in termsof limited hardware, space and time limitations (of laboratories), as well as costs associated with installation, operation, and maintenance. Besides, there is a reduced risk while using a visual frameworkas opposed to an electrical equipment. Hence, on the whole, this framework offers an easy-to-access and use modality for users to get trained on computer hardware and architecture costs and also can serve as a valuable tool for educational institutions in supplementing hardware courses.

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The Engineering Design Graphics Journal serves as the official journal of the American Society for Engineering Education, Engineering Design Graphics Division and provides a professional publication for educators and industry personnel associated with activities in engineering, technology, descriptive geometry, CAD, and any research related to visualization and design.

Manuscripts submitted for publication are subject to peer review by the EDG Journal editorial review board. The views and opinions expressed herein are those of authors and do not necessarily reflect the policy or the views of the EDGD.