This chapter is concerned with the introduction of art education and its position in Malaysia education system. Another part of this chapter reviews colour theory and fundamental concepts on colour mixing as both should be acquired by art teachers in secondary schools. This chapter further discusses the usage of interactive multimedia in Malaysia education.

2.1            The Position of Visual Art Education in Malaysia Curriculum

 Herbert Read (1943) defined art as present in everything we make to please our senses. He further stated that:
“… common to all works of art is something we call FORM. This is quite simple short word, and it has a meaning familiar to everybody… The form of a work of art is the shape it has taken. It does not matter whether it is a building, or a statue, or a picture, a poem or a sonata-all these things have taken on a particular or ‘specialized’ shape, and that shape is the form of the work of art…I have said that the work of art ‘takes on’ its shape, but actually the shape is given to it by a particular person, and that person we call an artist…

Art education plays an important role in our education system. McFee (1972) stated that art is an integral part of culture and because it involves transmission of values and attitudes, it can be a very effective means for learning about society. Besides, people’s values and beliefs are expressed through art. The subject matter of art illustrates the status and roles of people, what is important to observe in nature, what critical ideas need to be considered. The style of art tells us whether people are more objective and subjective in their view of the world. The setting and condition of arts in many subcultures will enable people to learn to respect and understand cultural pluralism in our society.

In fact, art education has its own history before it gets its firm position in our education system. According to Carline (1968), an initiative was taken to introduce the methodological approach by Dr Bell at Madras, India, in introducing an art education curriculum for Penang Free School in the middle of the 19th century. This curriculum was only for English medium schools. The objective of this curriculum was only to teach and to develop the skills of students to be good craftsmen when they graduate from the school. Drawing also had been also taught to the students besides other subjects. The craft works, which were introduced in the curriculum, were based upon the British styles.

Salleh (1979) stated in 1917 the colonial government had more serious attitudes towards the Malay vernacular schools based on Winstadt Report regarding Malay Education. He recommended that under the “school curriculum” besides languages (Malay and English), geography, natural science and history, other subjects such as drawing, basketry and needle work should also be introduced in the Malay primary schools and Malay Teachers Colleges.

Based on the Winstadt Report, drawing was deemed as necessary for an excellent understanding and observation of nature. It could awaken pupil’s interest and intelligence as well as teaching accuracy and neatness. Also it was fitting for manual work. He suggested that drawing should be made compulsory in the third and fourth standards. This report was then implemented in Malay primary schools until independence. On March 6, 1964, the Malaysian Cabinet approved the recommendation of an educational committee. This committee was established in April 1965 to review the School Entrance Examination. As a result the said examination was abolished. This meant that from 1965 onward all standard six primary pupils were automatically promoted to secondary form and received three years of comprehensive and pre-vocational education to help them find their own aptitudes.

Prior to 1989, teaching of art is known as art education but with the introduction of KBSM, the name was amended to visual art education. This amendment is more appropriate as visual art education is encompassed merely of visual art, but not other arts such as literature, music, dance, and martial art (Education Curriculum KBSM). Prior to KBSM, art education consisted of 2 aspects; drawing and craft. However, with the introduction of KBSM in 1989, art education includes design, organization of design and appreciation of art as well (Ministry of Education, Bahagian Perancangan dan Penyelidikan Dasar Pendidikan, 2000).

We have seen that art education has undergone many phases before it is accepted firmly in Malaysia school curriculum. The objective of learning art education has changed too. During the English colonial years, the aim of art curriculum was mainly to produce good craftsmen. But now our curriculum itself is ‘contents’ and ‘skills’ based. The contents of each subject reinforce and facilitate further the development of the basic skills, the acquisition of knowledge and thinking skills. By learning arts and aesthetics, the knowledge and concepts of cultural understanding, art appreciation, arts and crafts can be learnt and acquired by the students (Sharifah Maimunah, Analysis Of The National Curriculum For Basic Education In Malaysia).

Visual art education is no longer a trivial subject. It has become a compulsory subject in primary and lower secondary school (Form 1, 2 and 3).  Compulsory subject means subject other than the core subjects that must be learned by all pupils in government and government-aided schools. In primary school, time allocated for visual art education is 2 periods or 60 minutes per week, and 80 minutes (2 periods) per week for lower secondary schools (Sharifah Maimunah).  The significance of art education in our education system also can be seen when Ministry Of Education through “Surat Pekeliling Ikhtisas 8/1990: Sukatan Pelajaran dan Peruntukan Masa Untuk Mata-mata Pelajaran Program Kurikulum Bersepadu Sekolah Menengah (KBSM) Bagi Sekolah Menengah Atas Mulai Tahun 1992,” has gazetted as follows:

Visual Art Education is the elective subject for upper secondary level and is classified as humanities subject. Elective subject is subjects other than the compulsory and the core subjects chosen by pupils in government and government-aided schools according to their interests, talents, abilities and potential. Education at this level covers a period of two years; Form 4 and 5. Besides following the general education program, students begin to specialize in the sciences, arts, technical, vocational and religious disciplines. The time allocation for this subject is 3 periods per week, with 40 minutes per period.”

In Malaysia Education Certificate or SPM, art is one of the elective papers offered. Every candidate who takes visual art education must sit for 3 papers: Paper 1 (2611/1): Art Theory, Paper 2 (2611/2): Fine Art and Paper 3 (2611/3): Coursework of Research on Visual Art Design.

The revolution of Malaysia curriculum has affected art education immensely. It is a subject that must be taught to primary and secondary schools students. Today, visual art education has a firm position in education compared to those early years. Art education is no longer confined to painting, drawing and crafting. The growth of ICT has resulted in the appearance of a new topic in art education; visual art design. Few courses on arts have also been offered in local universities. Today, art can also provide a better future for art students. Thus, art teachers play an important role in imparting knowledge to their students. The role can be carried out efficiently if the teachers have good knowledge in arts. The government also should give support to the art teachers in enhancing their knowledge, for instance providing appropriate courseware on specific topic as the reference.

2.2     Colour Theory: The Basic Knowledge of Mixing Colours

Edith Anderson Feisner (2006) stated that colour can be described by two points of view – objectively, by referring to the laws of chemistry, physics, and physiology; and subjectively, by referring to the concepts found in psychology. Physiologically colour is a sensation of light that is transmitted to the brain through the eye. Light consists of waves of energy, which travel at different wavelengths. Tiny differences in wavelengths are processed by the brain into a myriad nuance of colour, in much the same way as our ear/brain partnership results in our interpretation of sound. Sound lets us interpret our auditory language; colour let us interpret our visual language.

Colour is one of seven elements in art. Other elements are line, shape, form, value, texture, and space (  According to Herbert Read (1958) who defined art as a form, colour is the superficial aspect of form and it has a very important part to play in art, because it has a very direct effect on our senses. Colour is perhaps the most powerful tool at the artist’s disposal. It is the province of all artists, from painters and potters to landscape and product designer (Paul Zelanski et al).

In understanding colours, theorists had come out with their frameworks on colours. The first hint of colour theory was formulated by the ancient Greek philosopher Empedocles (492 – 431 B.C.). Empedocles’ observations of his surroundings led him to the conclusion that the eye of the observer perceived colour; colour is not a property of the object being observed. Democritus stated that the world was composed of atoms and that colour was the result of atomic arrangements (Edith Anderson Feisner).

Aristotle perceived all variations among colours were the result of mixtures of darkness and light. For example, crimson was a combination of a certain amount of blackness with firelight or sunlight. For many centuries after Aristotle, colours were explained according to his theories. The reds seen at sunrise and sunset were thought to result from the mixture of white sunlight with the darkness of night that was just departing; the red seen in fire was a mixture of the white light of the fire and the darkness of the smoke                          (Paul Zelanski et al).

Leonardo da Vinci considered black and white as colours, and assigned white, yellow, green, blue, red, and black as primary colours. Based the observation of his own optical reaction, Leonardo concluded that certain responses took place when colours were placed next to each other; which was later known as simultaneous contrast. Essentially he discovered that when placed side by side, complementary colour intensify each other (Edith Anderson Feisner). Complementary colours are two colours that are opposite each other on the colour wheel (Paul Zelanski et al).


Plate 2: The diagram from Sir Isaac Newton’s crucial

Plate 3: Prism - Isaac Newton experiment, 1666-72                 

Isaac Newton discovered that as a ray of white light passes and is bent, or refracted, through a prism it is broken into an array of colours, or spectral hues – red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet. He noted that white light was a mixture of all the spectral hues. He took this array and turned it into a two-dimensional circular model that became the first colour wheel (Edith Anderson Feisner).

Moses Harris presented red, yellow, and blue as the primary hues, which he termed primitives. The mixture of these primitives produced the compound hues (secondaries) of orange, green and purple. The primitive/compound mixtures were each categorized into two progressions – red and orange yielded red-orange which was more red than orange, and orange-red which was more orange than red.

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, contrary to Newton, investigated the function of the eye and its interpretation of colour, rather than the properties of light. He developed two-dimensional wheel which was based on primaries; red, yellow, and blue, with the secondaries as complements of the primaries. In addition to his colour wheel, he formulated colour triangle which further reinforced colour relationships. The corners of the triangle contain the primaries; red, yellow and blue. The secondaries form the middle of the triangle’s sides, connecting the primaries. The remaining areas are the tertiaries, which are the result of mixing two secondaries with the adjacent primary. Goethe explored every aspect of colour and its reactions, including the role of complementary colours in creating shadows, simultaneous contrast, successive contrast, the effects of cast lights on an object, and proportional colour use (Edith Anderson Feisner ).

Philip Otto Runge (1777-1810) produced the first three-dimensional colour model by arranging 12 hues in a spherical format. The primary colours were red, yellow and blue, and the remaining nine hues were interspersed to form a diameter or equator around the center of the sphere. Each of the hues was mixed in two steps with white on one side of this equator and two steps of black on the other side. In short, each of the hues evolved

to black on one side of the sphere and to white on the other (Edith Anderson Feisner ).

Plate 4: Color Sphere - Philipp Otto Runge


Michael Eugene Chevreul (1786-1889), a renowned chemist and director of the dye house for Gobelins tapestries in Paris, verified red, yellow, and blue as primaries and orange, green, and violet as secondaries. He elucidated the laws governing the visual effects of colours upon each other: simultaneous contrast, successive contrast, and optical colour mixtures. From these he derived the principles of harmony. He noted that colours with little contrast, such as hues adjacent to each other on a colour circle, will tend to blend optically, whereas highly contrasted colours (such as complementary colours lying opposite each other on the colour circle) used in efficiently large quantities will make each other appear more brilliant, without any optical change in their hue. If small areas of opposite colours are presented together, on the other hand, they will tend to blend visually and thereby create a duller overall colour sensation. These effects led him to recommend that highly contrasting colours be used in large juxtaposed areas, whereas analogous colours should best be used in small, diffused amounts (Paul Zelanski et al).

Ogden Rood (1831-1902) identified three major variables that determine the differences between colours as purity (saturation), luminosity (value), and hue. Through his experiments, he demonstrated that pigment hues can be mixed optically to form the sort of luminous mixtures one would get when mixing lights. Such mixtures would be blended by the eye if lines of colour or “a quantity of small dots of two colours very near each other” were viewed from a certain distance (Paul Zelanski et al). Rood’s colour wheel was based on the primaries red, green and blue. Rood felt that once an artist knew what the direct complement or contrast of a hue was, he or she could instill a glowing brilliance to a work that exceeded hue’s brilliance (Edith Anderson Feisner).

Plate 5: A color sphere; the color frontispiece from Albert Henry Munsell's 1905 pamphlet A Color Notation.

Albert Munsell (1858-1918) stated that colour could be described according to three variables: hue, value (lightness or darkness) and chroma (saturation or brightness). He used a numbering system to these variables. His experimentation led to his expansion of the primary hues (which he termed principal colours) to number five–red, yellow, blue, green, and purple. Afterimages of these principal colours formed the basis for Munsell’s complementaries–red and blue-green, yellow and purple-blue, blue and yellow-red, green and red-purple, and purple and green-yellow. Based on his colour tree, hues are positioned on a vertical axis showing value from light (above) to dark (below). Saturation is measured on a horizontal axis, with dull-gray hues at the center evolving into the brightest hues at the outer extremities.  He gave each of the hues the number 5 and an initial letter (or letters), so that red is 5R, and yellow-red is 5YR. He allotted hues that fall between the five principal and five complementary hues an intermediate system, so that 10R is a hue that falls halfway between 5R and 5YR. The number 5 indicates the midpoint of each hue family. He expressed the value of the hue by adding a number between 0 and 9 as the second part of the notation, so that 5R5 is a middle-value red, and 5R9 is a very pale pink. Finally, he added a notation after a slash to show the level of saturation of the hue at that value, measured in equal steps from neutral grey to the greatest saturation seen in each hue at a particular value. So, a pure middle value red is 5R5/14, whereas a less saturated red equal value may be 5R5/6 (Edith Anderson Feisner).

Hue is the quality that designates a colour. Hue tells us that turquoise is the colour, it is not yellow-green, or something else. Value is the lightness or darkness of a colour (Jim Ames, 1996 ). In pigment mixtures, value can be adjusted by the addition of black or white. The lightest value is referred to as “high” and the darkest as “low”. When pigments of equal value are mixed, the resulting colour is darker rather than lighter, since more wavelengths are absorbed (Paul Zelanski et al). Saturation refers to the intensity of a hue in a colour sample (David Llyod, 2007). It is the degree to which colours are grayed by being mixed with their complementaries. The purer a colour a brilliant yellow and a strong blue are said intense, or saturated (Paul Zelanski et al).

Wilhelm Ostwald (1853-1932), the Nobel Prize-winning German Chemist based his colour model on mathematical steps from black to white, in geometric rather than arithmetical progression, and on an analysis of the light apparently reflected or absorbed by a surface (Paul Zelanski et al). A value scale based on the absorption qualities (the quantity of white light absorbed) added arithmetically would result in 1, 2, 3, 4 … format.

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However, when absorption is analyzed on a geometric basic, it would result in 1, 2, 4, 8, 16, 32 … This provided a scale with more optically equal steps in value gradation. Ostwald’s resulting gray scale contained eight steps. His premise was that all colours are combination of hue, black and white. Thus the intermediate portions of his colour triangles were based on percentages of black, white and hue. Within each of these percentage mixtures the total always 100 percent, which made them “complete” (Edith Anderson Feisner). Moving diagonally toward white from the equator, the amount of black is held constant as white increasingly takes the place of the original hue, which he termed it as “full colour” and this process is called tinting. The addition of black to a hue and decreases the full color, while white is held constant is called shading. Moving directly toward the center is called toning, here black and white increase and the full colour is decreased, thus graying it (Paul Zelanski et al).

Based on the above-mentioned colour theory, we see that the theorists had come out with various theories to show the colours relationship. Leonardo verified white, yellow, green, blue, red and black as primary colours. Roods concluded red, green and blue are the primaries and Munsell identified red, green, blue, yellow and purple as primary colours. But theorists such as Moses, Goethe, Runge and Chevreul verified three colours - red, blue and yellow as the primaries.

Besides, the colour theories are differentiate between two species of colour mixing phenomenon: theory of coloured lights and theory involving pigments and pigmented substances like paints and inks (David Llyod, 2007). Newton’s colour theory for instance is based on coloured light.

There is no definite explanation on colours and it is still open to be discussed. As a result of years of study, modern theorist, Jim Ames (1996) has departed himself from traditional theory when he concluded that cyan, magenta and yellow as the primaries, whereas traditional theory identified cyan and magenta as secondaries. He stated that in nature, cyan, magenta and yellow produce all other colours, and in the use of pigments; those used in art of printing and painting, the same is true (Colour Theory Made Easy, 1996).

Knowledge of colour will be one of the most powerful painting tools (Jo Taylor, 2003). The colour theory is crucial to the artists as they can see the relationship of colours, thus enabling them to play with the colour effectively and paint well.  Equipping themselves with the theories, artists also can develop their own wheel colour. In the context of art education, an art teacher should firstly facilitate himself or herself with the colour theory before he or she can further progress to colour mixing. But not all the colour theories are suitable to be used in colour mixing in art. Munsell colour classification scheme, for instance, is suitable to be used in commercial, scientific and industrial context, but not suitable for most art and craft application (David Llyod, 2007).

2.3     The Fundamental Principles of Mixing Colour

In the past, some artists stated that there were rigid rules that should be followed regarding the use of colour. Joshua Reynolds said that the colour red will always appear to come forward and blue will always appear to recede. Thomas Gainsborough, after painted his Blue Boy as a response to Reynolds statement, was of the belief that there were no such rules about the use of reds and blues (Jane de Sausmarez, 2008).There are no set rules in using colour  and an artist is free to play with colours in a painting.

In a work of art we are rarely concerned with a simple reaction to a single colour, though it has been demonstrated that the apprehension or appreciation of a single colour may be aesthetic. More generally we are concerned with several colours, and it is according to whether they make a harmony or a discord that we judge a visual work of art (Herbert Read, 1943). Painting techniques involve color mixing and color theory. Colour mixing is a very useful phenomenon that enables us to produce a range of colour effects from a relatively modest range of source materials–mix two different colours together and a third one appears (David Llyod, 2007).

Mixing colours can be done by using many mediums for instance; watercolours, poster colours, oil colours and acrylic. However, in this paper, the researcher will focus his study on mixing colours using watercolours only. For centuries, artists have exploited the fact that the medium creates vivid colours, and is both fast-drying and portable. In its broadest sense, watercolour is any paint that is water-based – as opposed to being oil-based. The essential ingredients of watercolour are pigments (the substances that provide the colour), a binding agent (usually gum arabic), and water. When combined, these three components create transparent watercolour (Michael Clarke, 1993). Pigments are organic and inorganic substances either found in nature or made synthetically, which, as microscopic ingredients of paints, give paints their colour (Jim Ames, 1996).

There are several concepts on colour mixing that need to be known by art teachers. Some basic concepts that will apply to the mixing colours are primary, secondary and tertiary colours. Primary colours are colours that cannot be obtained by mixing (Edith Anderson Feisner, 2006). All colour wheels start with the primaries (Jim Ames, 1996). When two primary colours are mixed together, a secondary colour (or intermediate colour) is the result of the mixture. When yellow and blue is mixed together, the result is green. Red and yellow mixed together, produce orange and a mixture of red and blue results in violet (sometimes called purple). Thus the secondary colours are green, orange and violet. When a primary colour and an adjacent secondary are mixed, tertiary colours are the result. The mixture of red and orange produces red-orange, orange and yellow produce yellow-orange, yellow and green produce yellow-green, green and blue produce blue-green, blue and violet produce blue-violet, and the mixture of violet and red produce red-violet (Edith Anderson Feisner). In simple words, colour mixing occurs when two or more colors are mixed together to create a new color. In addition to these three fundamental principles of colour mixing, there is also another concept of mixing colour; quaternary colours.

Jim Ames (1996) has given more detailed definition on secondary, tertiary and quaternary colours. He stated that secondary colours are those formed by mixing equal parts of any two primaries, both at 100 percent saturation. Tertiary colours are those formed by mixing one primary that is at 100 percent saturation and any other primary that is at 50 percent saturation. Quaternary colours are formed by mixing one primary that is at 100 percent saturation with any other primary that is at either 25 percent or 75 percent saturation.

Colour mixing theory can be illustrated by colour wheel, which had been done by colour theorists. An artist can build his own colour wheel. An artist’s colour wheel is a device that bridges theory and practice (Jim Ames, 1996). Accordingly, if an art teacher is competent in colour mixing, he can make his own colour wheel and can be used in the classroom to help their students understand colour mixing theory effectively. Moreover, the art teacher’s self-made colour wheel also can built the students confidence to experiment with the colours to get the desired colours.

Looking into Malaysia art education, colour mixing is one of the skills that needs to be learnt and acquired. Among the objectives of colour in visual art education for lower secondary schools are as follows:
(i)                 learn about colours
(ii)               learn that primary colours cannot be mixed with other colours.
(iii)             mix primary colours to obtain secondary colours
(iv)             mix primary colours and secondary colours.

Aiming to achieve the above learning objectives, it must start from the root; the art teacher, the person who conveys knowledge and information to the students. It is important for art teachers to learn what primary, secondary and tertiary colours are and these basic concepts should be at the tip of their fingers. If art teachers are unknowledgeable and incompetent in colour mixing and the theories that are applicable to it, their students who need to gain all the concepts on colour mixing during their early years in secondary schools will face problem when they are in upper secondary level. They could not mix the colours well and produce nice painting, which it is vital for their exam if they sit for the art paper in SPM. Iberahim and Mohd Nasir (2003) asserted that incompetent art teachers can cause the aim and objective of teaching and learning unachievable. As a result, inaccurate concept will be taught to students, while inadequate knowledge will result in teaching and learning approach which is neither creative nor innovative, thus demoralising students to learn art. If art teachers are unknowledgeable in the content of curriculum education of art visual education, how they can plan the lesson plan effectively. Teachers who are really competent are needed to teach visual art education. This subject has its own discipline. The presumption that anybody can teach this subject should be removed as the outcome will be frustrating. The endeavour to create generation that is harmonic, critical in thinking, innovative, aesthetical, imaginative and inventive will meet failure.
Therefore, art teachers who still have not achieve the competency in colour mixing should do some readings on books of colours or surf the internet on that subject and conduct some practices and exercises to improve their skills. Or alternatively, a different method of acquiring knowledge in the form of interactive multimedia should be laid to them to experience an easier and more effective learning of colour mixing in order to upgrade their competency.

2.4            Interactive Multimedia in Malaysia Education System

ICT has given massive implication in our education system. It has been used widely in teaching and learning, especially in principal subjects. The usage of ICT has been acknowledged to be an effective method for teachers in delivering lesson. According to Crook (1994), computer technology can help teachers to maximize the quality of teaching. Nowadays, a new element especially computer graphic, has been adopted in the art education syllabus. This development of the curriculum needs the usage of various tools. Computer application in art education is an alternative to the coloring tools and conventional drawing.

Before the emergence of interactive multimedia (IMM), we acquire most of our knowledge by traditional method; reading books. The growth of the information and communication technologies (ICT) has given vast impact in our life and even educational system has been affected by the ICT. The learning style and obtaining knowledge have changed and are not solely depending on traditional methods anymore. IMM is a new way to gain knowledge and it is well known for its capability to enhance knowledge and skills and make learning experience more effective and appealing. The appeal of multimedia learning is best illustrated by the popularity of the video games currently in the market (Usha V. Reddi and Sanjaya Mishra, 2003).

Taylor (1990) defined interactive multimedia (IMM) as the integration of computer with other technology media such as CD-ROM, interactive audio and video and the link with internet and e-mail. Collins, J. et al (1997) stated that in the education context, multimedia was described as the mix of video and audio cassettes, printed text and handbooks. In a computer environment, multimedia involved three or more of media such as speech, sounds, drawings or diagrams, animated drawings or diagrams, still photographs or other images, video clips and text. Images, sounds and words used in multimedia can support learning and extend access in several ways. However, improper representation of images may have unwanted and undesirable impact in learning either by creating misconception or by falsely representing a concept or culture.

Ambon (in Barker and Tucker, 1990) defined IMM as a collation of disparate media emanating from single presentation device. IMM promoted a creation of an information rich environment. Gayeski (1993) defined IMM as a class of computer driven interactive communication which create, store, transmit and retrieve textual, graphic and auditory networks of information.

Philip, R (1997) wrote the multimedia component refers to the process of empowering the user to control the environment usually by a computer. IMM was neither a delivery mechanism nor a hardware platform, but rather a technology implemented in a software packages.

The rapid growth of information and communication technologies has led Malaysia launching the Smart School in 1997.  The Smart School concept came out of a brainstorming session held at the Ministry of Education. Many steps had been taken to ensure the realization of Smart School. The first step in the Smart School initiative was the introduction of computers, related applications, software and courseware into schools, classrooms and the teaching and learning processes. A further initiative taken was the development of locally-relevant courseware. The courseware was created in recognition of the fact that teachers require digital content that is compatible with the curriculum. By 2003, 1.494 courseware titles had been created in four subject areas: Bahasa Melayu, English Language, Science and Mathematics for students from Year 1 to Form 5 (Bismillah Khatoon Binti Abdul Kader, Malaysia’s Experience in Training Teachers to Use ICT, retrieved on 20 March 2009).

Courseware was introduced into Malaysian Education to ensure teachers and students are in line with the ICT growth and to enhance the quality of education.  With the advancement of interactive multimedia technology, the role of multimedia courseware has become more prominent in the educational system. Research carried out on the efficacy of multimedia courseware in the teaching and learning process has found that multimedia is an effective means of depicting knowledge and facilitating learning. The results of studies indicated that local graduates generally found multimedia courseware useful and appealing and preferred it over traditional teaching approaches.

The pedagogical strength of multimedia is that it uses the natural information processing abilities that we already possess as humans. Our eyes and ears, in conjunction with our brain, form a formidable system for transforming meaningless sense data into information. The old saying that “a picture is worth a thousand words” often understates the case especially with regard to moving images, as our eyes are highly adapted by evolution to detecting and interpreting movement (Usha V. Reddi and Sanjaya Mishra, 2003)

Bransford and Johnson (1972) carried out a study on a group of high school students who were represented with a short, ambiguous text. The result showed that student who had opportunity to look at the related pictures recalled more ideas from the text than those who did not see the pictures. It appears that the students were able to interpret the meaning of the text easier and faster with the help of the pictures. It can be concluded that humans can learn best with the supporting of pictures. Kirby and Hartley (1993) asserted that IMM holds the promise of great benefits in term of increase productivity.

2.5     Appropriateness of Courseware for Teachers

The enormous impact of courseware to our educational system is undeniable. However, most of the courseware provided to school is typically focused on students. We keep discussing about good implications of courseware to students, its relevancy and effectiveness, yet the same approach can be practical to teachers as well. Courseware can be one of the best and interesting learning materials to adults too. Gaining knowledge by reading books with hundred pages sometimes makes teachers bored, but learning is endless. The teachers have to upgrade their skills regularly, if they want to stay abreast of developments in their profession (Ab Rahim Bakar & Shamsiah Mohamed, 2008).

But the courseware for the art teachers should be different from that for students. An adult learns differently from a child for an adult is a developed individual as explained by the following:

(i)                 Self-directed learning: Adults have a self-concept and, unlike children, they are less dependent and more self-directed as learners.
(ii)               Prior experience: With the process of growing up, adults gather experiences which are their own. These experiences determine the way one learns and these also facilitate or hinder one's learning.
(iii)             Problem-centred learning: On the whole, adults tend to be more task-centred or problem-centred. Problems and tasks that are more related to one's world of work and life generate interest in adult learners. As a result, learning situations that are based on these problems and tasks contribute to effective learning. People are known to learn best when learning is based on their lived experience.
(iv)       Learning by doing: Adults learn better by using their psychomotor skills and by doing rather than by rote learning. As a result, adults need to feel challenged by giving them opportunities for learning by doing.
(v)        Preference for democratic style of learning: Adults prefer a democratic, participatory style rather than an authoritarian style of learning. Rather than the popular perception that views students as 'empty vessels' whose minds have to be filled with knowledge, a dialogical, interactive, cooperative style of learning finds favour with adults.
(vi)       Experiencing a sense of progression, a sense of achievement: Adults learn best when they feel they are making progress. Adults have varying learning needs. But in order to meet those needs, it is important for them to experience a sense of achievement, a feeling that their creative urge is challenged (Usha V. Reddi and Sanjaya Mishra).

Learning by using courseware will give the art teachers a new learning experience. It is a supportive material to enhance teachers’ own development and quality. Since most of the schools in Malaysia are equipped with computers and provides teachers with notebook computers, providing courseware for teachers’ use will be useful, even though they are in rural areas. There are no more obstacles for them in gaining knowledge using courseware. Courseware also enables them to learn at their own pace, place and time.

One of the skills that must be acquired by art teachers in secondary schools is colour mixing as this topic is within the art syllabus. The concept on colour mixing can be explained through using courseware too. Hitherto, there is no colour mixing courseware available for them. A courseware of colour mixing should be developed to help them understanding colour mixing in the simple way.

2.6     Definition of Terms

The researcher lays down the definition of the terms used in this study. The terms used in this study are defined to give a clear picture and better understanding of the study’s concern.
2.6.1    Interactive Software

Based on the Free Dictionary by Farlex, “interactive” refers to allowing or relating to continuous two-way transfer of information between a user and the central point of a communication system, such as a computer or television, and “software” is written programs or procedures or rules and associated documentation pertaining to the operation of a computer system and that are stored in read/write memory. (Free Dictionary 2007)

2.6.2    Art Teachers defines teacher as someone who teaches, especially as a professional. So, art education teacher is someone who teaches art.  In the scope of this study, secondary school art teachers refer to those who teach art in Form 1 to Form 5.
( 2007)

2.6.3 Colour mixing

Colour mixing is when colour paints, ink, marker, and other colouring media are combined. Many different colours can be mixed to make new colours. The fundamental principle of color mixing was discovered by Isaac Newton when he found that white light separates spatially into its different component colors on passing through a prism ( 2009). When the same light is passed through another prism, so that the individual bands of the spectrum are superimposed on each other, the sensation becomes one of white light (Encyclopedia Britannica Online 2009). Aristotle discovered that by mixing two colors, a third is produced. He did this with a yellow and blue piece of glass, which when brought together produced green (Color Therapy Healing 2008). Therefore, colour mixing is all about discoveries to get a new colour.

2.6.4 Concept of Courseware

Key organisations, such as the National Education Delivery System (, promote operations for the quality, growth, plan and conception of methodologies within an educational context and for projects of educational materials (educating/training) for use with computers, denominated as courses – courseware. With regard to the particular case of educational materials, these are also called educative programmes. (Joao 2005)

Specifically, the area of engineering known as courseware engineering serves as support material for students of this area in the process of learning. Courseware may be utilised as in a virtual class, lecture, self-learning, such as reference materials, and in the accomplishment of tests to evaluate the performance of a student individually or in a group. In the context of engineering education, courseware has a typical feature of existing in a multimedia environment, such as graphics, photographs, images, video and animation, in order to illustrate engineering concepts, theories or experiments. It can also include links to other sites that allow the user to investigate information related to the contents.

2.6.5 Appropriateness

The FreeDictionary defines the word “appropriate” as suitable for a particular person, condition, occasion or place (The Free Dictionary 2007). On Merriam Webster Online, “appropriate” is defined as suitable and compatible. (Merriam 2002)

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