Geoff Swan, Physics Programme, Edith Cowan University
CD-Physics is based on the popular first year textbook "Fundamentals of Physics" by Halliday, Resnick and Walker. CD-Physics (version 2.0) contains a complete hypertext version of the textbook (5th edition, extended), the student solutions manual, and the study guide. In addition, it contains simulations and interactive learningware tutorial software. It is easy to install, run and master.
The structural design and content of the second version is far superior to the first. A user friendly graphical interface has been introduced as well as video "puzzlers" from Jearl Walker to motivate students at the beginning of each chapter. The overall layout and features have been much improved.
The main menu and tool bar icons situated at the bottom of the screen make the material easily accessible and often in a number of ways. Students can quickly select the appropriate chapter and section through the "table of contents" icon. Pages, which contain text, illustrations and photos, are turned back and forth using the tool bar icon rather than a scroll bar. Important terms are linked to relevant pages through the use of hypertext and can also be found using the "search" icon. Students are able to highlight text (in a variety of fluorescent colours), bookmark pages and write their own notes which of course can be printed out. The "key info" icon allows students to swiftly look up key formulas, concepts and miscellaneous data. The study guide can be accessed through the "key info" icon, the "browse" icon, or directly from the main menu. Questions, exercises and problems can be individually selected at the end of each chapter. Answers, hints, text references, worked solutions, or even a learningware tutorial may be sought by clicking on the corresponding icon, provided it exists for the particular problem. For example, answers are only given for odd numbered problems.
CD-Physics version 2.0 is a comprehensive first year tertiary physics package with helpful tools included to help students learn and study effectively. Many students will benefit from this package and I will therefore be recommending it to our students for purchase in 1998.
UniServe Science News Volume 9 March 1998
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