Title: WWW instructional documentation for the development of a smart composite bridge

Authors: Steve E. Watkins, Vicki M. Eller, Richard H. Hall

Addresses: Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Missouri-Rolla (UMR), 121 EECH, Rolla, MO 65409-0040, USA. Instructional Software Development Centre, University of Missouri-Rolla, G-4D Basic Engineering Bldg, Rolla, MO 65409-0210, USA. Department of Information Science and Technology, University of Missouri-Rolla, 102-B Folton Hall, Rolla, MO 65409-0320, USA

Abstract: An instructional World-Wide-Web (WWW) site for a smart composite bridge provides technical documentation to a diverse audience including professional and student users. It describes a prototype bridge project that demonstrates the use of fibre-reinforced-composites and smart sensing techniques for civil engineering applications. This smart composite bridge is a long-term technological demonstration for industry and an interdisciplinary field laboratory for students. The site content includes live images, technical details, associated publications, manufacturing protocols and developmental testing. The site objectives are to provide current information, to organise progressive levels of detail and to exploit WWW instructional capabilities. Clear organisation, navigational aids, supplementary helps and content layering balances the user needs (1) for simplicity through consistent presentation and usability and (2) for complexity through user-centred options and multimedia. This instructional tool models effective communication of research to industry and the classroom. It shows how site design can accommodate diverse needs of information delivery.

Keywords: instructional technology; world wide web based education; web design; technology transfer; Internet.

DOI: 10.1504/IJCEELL.2003.002160

International Journal of Continuing Engineering Education and Life-Long Learning, 2003 Vol.13 No.1/2, pp.180-189

Published online: 21 Jul 2003 *

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