Product dissection, in either physical or virtual form, has been found to be an effective learning tool. With the rapid growth of technology, effective virtual education tools have the potential to continue increasing in value. Although physical product dissection is often implemented in the classroom, there are some limitations to employing these tools. One such limitation is the inability to see into a product and view the internals of a product while it is functioning. Recent research has found that students who dissect physical or virtual products have similar conceptual understanding of products after dissection. Although there are promising findings for virtual dissection, there is still room for improvement in these virtual environments to enable better understanding of products. One way this may be possible is through the addition of animations, which show the functions of the internal components in a product, a capability that is currently not offered in virtual product dissection tools. These animations have the ability to show how a product works in ways unobtainable through physical product dissection and currently unavailable in virtual product dissection. Therefore, this research aims to explore the impact that animation in virtual product dissection has on learning and cognitive load for engineering students.

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