With the rapid growth of e-learning, a technological revolution is currently
taking place in higher education learning institution. Generally, e-learning
is a learner-centered educational system which enables learners to learn whenever,
wherever and whatever the learners want to learn according to their learning
objectives (Rosenberg, 2001). Educational technologies
provide numerous advantages in the areas of contextual, active, self-paced and
individualized learning, and automation so that learners can choose appropriate
learning content and paths themselves and understand their learning progress
and achievement (Tsai, 2009).
Courseware, also known as instruction or educational software, is widely used
in higher education as an essential part of the courses. Courseware or multimedia
integration into instruction has become a very effective tool for learning (Alessi
and Trollip, 2001).
In general, courseware can play the role of a tutor, a tool, or a tutee. Interactive
multimedia courseware can be divided into several categories, based on the emphasis
of the courseware. In this discussion, the development of courseware focuses
on drill and practice, tutorial, tests, web-based learning, hypermedia, and
simulations. Although courseware development and its application in classroom
lectures is becoming more greatly emphasized, its design and use have been more
focused on courses related to sciences and technology (Azemi,
2008; Tsai, 2009). That is because instructors in
these fields have more competent skills and knowledge of multimedia software
and programming so that they are less hesitant to convert their lecture notes
into an interactive package that can be available to students.
Group of researchers have developed ways to teach microelectronic processing
which related to the semiconductor devices using interactive multimedia at the
Georgia Institute of Technology, in order to improve impediments resulting from
resource constraints as well as to enhance students' educational experience
(May, 1996). Tsai (2009) has
developed a courseware for semiconductor technology to overcome problems encountered
in developing English Special Programs (ESP) in Taiwan. In the design of the
whole courseware, five skills for learning English (listening, speaking, reading,
writing, and translation) have been considered and a 3D multimedia technique
has been used to promote learning interest, student engagement, and efficiency.
Students report they have benefited from the courseware implementation. They
report that the multimedia-assisted environment of the courseware promotes learning
Mastery learning using multimedia (Kazu et al.,
2005) has positive effects on student understanding toward course content
and the characteristic of user-friendly multimedia software served the purpose
of student centered level of achievement and learning is optimized. It has been
shown that animated graphic as teaching tool is more effective than traditional
classroom teaching. It has been shown that animated graphic as teaching tool
is more effective than traditional classroom teaching (Garcia
et al., 2007; Mayer et al., 2004).
Animated graphics as teaching tool in electrical/electronic engineering was
tested to the students at University Tenaga Nasional Malaysia has showed the
average score of students who were exposed to the visual presentation (89.69%)
were better than the student without such exposure (54.68%). Semiconductor devices
is one of the subjects in the field of material science taught in the Physics
Department, Faculty of Science, Universiti Putra Malaysia. It requires a heavy
use of the minds imaginative and creativity faculty as well as the general
analytical skills. This study is to develop an effective teaching aid, to improve
the students conceptual understanding a semiconductor devices. The main
purpose of this study is to design and develop a computer courseware which serves
as an e-book as a challenge towards e-learning (Khairi and
Malvinder, 2006; Lundgren and Jonsson, 2005).
MATERIALS AND METHODS
The Fast Prototype Design Model is used to develop the software (Fig.
1). Macromedia Flash MX2004 is used to design 2D object, while Swift 3D
is used to create 3D animation which is friendly in any compatible personal
computer. Meanwhile, Adobe Photoshop is used to edit any necessary picture needed
in software development. The project was carried out at the University Putra
Malaysia from July 2009 to July 2010.
Experimental treatment (approach) and a set of questionnaire also be given
to determine the applicable presentation of interface in multimedia development
(King, 2002). To test the effectiveness of the courseware,
the pre-test and post-test questionnaire were prepared and tested on the students
before and after using the software. The test sheet consists of three sections,
sections A are respondent information, section B are questions on semiconductors
and section C are evaluation for the multimedia software.
|| Multimedia software development process
All the data are analyzed by using Statistical Package in Social Science For
Windows (SPSS) version 12.
Figure 2 shows the research development of courseware and
details are available elsewhere.
The interactive opening page shows all the content for Fundamental of Semiconductor
Devices (Giancoli, 2005; Donald, 1996).
It also provide a quick links to all the topics and subtopics. An exercise,
question and a glossary are also included.
Introduction to Semiconductors covers the subtopics of crystal lattice, structural
atom of silicon and gallium (Fig. 3).
|| Screen capture of opening page courseware
||(a) Animation in 3D for three cubic crystal lattice and (b)
Animation in 2D to show a p-type semiconductor, gallium doped silicon
The 3D animated graphic were used to visualize the simple cubic crystal, face-centered
cubic crystal and body cubic crystal (Fig. 4a). The animation
was also designed in 2D (Fig. 4b) to show a p-type semiconductor,
gallium doped silicon.
||The pie chart of test 1 PHY4202 course for first semester
RESULTS AND DISCUSSION
The result from the test 1 (Second Semester 2005/2006) shows more than 17.4%
of students failed, which focused on the Fundamental of Semiconductor (Fig.
5). A set of questionnaire were distributed to the student at Physics Department,
Faculty of Science, Universiti Putra Malaysia the First Semester 2006/2007,
to determine problems face on specific and the result is shown in Fig.
6. The Band Theory showed the highest misconception, following with intrinsic
and extrinsic semiconductor, bonding in solids and the periodic table.
|| Summary on gender and their majoring
|| Results of t-test of significance of differences in test
scores with test value = 60
|* = p<0.05
|| Evaluation for the multimedia software
||Misconception on several topics in semiconductor devices course
The best solution are to design and develop an appropriate multimedia software
that can visualize the phenomenon inside the semiconductor.
The courseware was tested on the student as summarized in Table
The results of the pre-test and post-test were shown in Fig.
7. It shows that after using the software the students understand better
the semiconductor phenomena. The value (mean of grade) of post-test is 3.079
increases by 0.126 as compared with the pre-test (2.953).
|| The result of pre-test 1 and post-test 1 for pilot test
A simple hypothesis which is relation to this research: Ho = no significant
different between pre-test and post-test, Ha = significant different between
pre-test and post-test and sigma (Sig) for post-test 1 with confidence interval
is 0.000 (<0.05)*. So the Result = Reject Ho, caused of difference value
between test, so using courseware in learning is effective and Ha can be accepted
Questionnaires on the students perception towards the courseware were
given to 30 students. As shown in Table 3, the study shows
all five aspects of multimedia software can be accepted by learners with mean
of score 4.16 and standard deviation 0.76. Students perception on navigation
design shows the highest responses (m=4.34, sd = 0.62), showing students are
comfortable while accessing the courseware. Meanwhile the perception on designing
of teaching materials shows the lowest score (m = 4.07, sd = 0.87), it need
to be upgraded the result. Although this is a prototype courseware, all responses
agreed with the total mean of score above 4.0, can be accepted.
A prototype courseware for fundamental of semiconductor devices for final year
students majoring in Physics successfully developed. The results showed that
the students performed better and accept the multimedia software in their learning
session, with sigma value <0.05 for post-test 1 and post-test 2. Using Likert
scale (total mean of score = 4.16 and sd = 0.76) with Alpha Croanbach of 0.89
(>0.7) concluded that the courseware is acceptable.
The author, Suzaini, gratefully acknowledge the financial support by Ministry
of Education Malaysia under Federal Training Scholarship. Suzaini would like
to acknowledge the Physics and Ultrasonic Laboratory of Physics Department,
Faculty of Science, Universiti Putra Malaysia, Malaysia. We are grateful to
Mr Nordin for technical advices.