A multimedia approach to disseminating engineering standards
Myers, D.G., Chong, V.M. and Fung, C.C. (1996) A multimedia approach to disseminating engineering standards. In: C. McBeath and R. Atkinson (Eds), The Learning Superhighway: New world? New worries? Proceedings of the Third International Interactive Multimedia Symposium, 21 - 25 January, Perth, Western Australia
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Engineering standards are information rich documents which outline some prescribed practice. They are written in precise language, often referencing equations, tables, graphs or similar aids as well as prior standards. This is in order to ensure that the information presented is interpreted in just one way by all practitioners. As it is the detail that is ultimately of importance, the format of a standard is that each of the topics discussed is examined at length. This, though makes a standard a difficult document to browse. It is vitally important in engineering education that students are acquainted with standards. However, at most points in such an education program, what is of interest is the salient features of the standard, not the detail, and that demands a good browsing capability. This paper demonstrates how a multimedia approach may allow the information of a standard to be presented precisely, yet at the same time offer a browsing function of genuine value in educating the reader or otherwise broadly informing them. A prototype package has been developed for international computer bus standards. These are used to interconnect modules in many personal computers, workstations and industrial computer systems. The paper discusses its features and highlights the advantages of this approach.
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