Instructional Software May Benefit Instruction by Providing:
- Individualized instruction
- Cost-effective instruction
- Providing immediate feedback
- Providing a safe training environment for learning dangerou tasks
Drill & Practice Instructional Software
- Usually employs some form of questioning strategy.
- Rarely includes content instruction or includes only minimal content instruction.
- Designed to support previous content instruction.
- May use some gaming techniques for encouraging participation in questioning, activities.
- Theoretical Foundation
- Based on the BEHAVIORISTS view of learning.
- Behaviorists are primarily concerned with how a given STIMULUS produces a specific RESPONSE.
- They believe that learning is the result of developing ASSOCIATIONS between stimulus & response.
- Associations are most likely to be REINFORCED when feedback occurs in IMMEDIATE conjunction with the stimulus.
- Feedback in instuctional software
- Instruction software often provides immediate output to learner input -- called FEEDBACK.
- software is said to be INTERACTIVE when the feedback is tailored so that, for each category or type of learner input a unique type of output results (e.g. correct answers result in a different type output than incorrect answers.)
- Types of Feedback
- POSITIVE feedback is designed to encourage a response.
- NEGATIVE feedback is designed to discourages a response. (ex: an annoying buzzer)
- NEUTRAL feedback neither encourage or discourages responses.
- INFORMATIVE feedback displays the correct answer.
- CUMULATIVE feedback sums individual performances.
- Drill and Practice Features
- Graphics should be designed to encourage correct responses.
- Sound should be available to recruit attention. Research has shown that, especially with young children, children's
voices and novel sounds are effective in recruiting the learners' attention.
- Time Limits are often effective in keeping the learners on task.
- Cumulative performance scores increase motivational challenge.
- Tutorials provide instruction. They are often designed to "stand alone."
- Tutorials are usually designed as a single learner's private tutor.
- Questioning strategies used in tutorials are designed to augment or support the instruction that is included in the tutorial.
- Tutorials are often based on the COGNITIVE or INFORMATION PROCESSING approach to learning.
- Unlike the behaviorists, the cognitivists are more concerned with INTERNAL PROCESSES that humans use in solving problems than with connections between stimuli and responses.
- Cognitivists believe that instruction should focus on developing MENTAL PROCESSING SKILLS or HYPOTHESIS-FORMING mechanisms in
- Factors that Influence Information Processing
- Gain Attention - sound, graphics, animation.
- Present Objectives - Present at beginning include representative examples.
- Specify Prerequisite Skills - review what the learner will need to know e.g. terms, skills
- Include Cues and Guidance. Often the bulk of tutorials. Includes prompts, cues and instructional sequences for conveying concepts.
- Eliciting Performance and Providing Feedback
- Questions should require application of the concepts or rules covered in the instructional sequences.
- Feedback should be diagnostic by identifying processing errors and prompting remediation or recasting of the instruction.
- Assessing Performance. Tests should store summarize and/or report results.
- Facilitate Retention and Transfer. Reviews, designed to facilitate and test transfer to new concepts.
Simulations and Games
- SIMULATIONS are designed to engage the learner in activities which REPLICATE their REFERENTS. The computer has the look and feel of the activities being taught. e.g. "Flight Simulator"
- GAMES engage the learner in an event or activity, but the concepts being taught have little to do with the activities participated in. The activities are simply used for MOTIVATING the learners. e.g. "Where in the World is Carmen SanDiego."
- Simulations vs Real Life
- Why use a simulation instead of the real thing?
- Less time
- Reduced Cost
- Easily repeated
- Focus on selected aspects
- Less risk
- Convenience (more than 1 can play)
- Motivation in Games & Simulations
- Individual Motivation
- Group Motivation
- Recognition of achievement