Table of Contents Instructional-Design Module
Evidence of Usability
InstructionalDesign Modules Module 1: Kinds of Learning According to Reigeluth’s Instructional Design Theories there are three types of learning: memorization, understanding, and application (Reigeluth, 1999). The web application uses all three types of learning. The procedural aspects of the site use memorization such as steps for division and keywords to solve. The students need to be able to process information in order to understand how to solve the problems. The students have to take the information and apply it to solve the word problems. The web application allows an individual to work on basic memorization concepts, show a working understanding of the concepts, and apply skills to solve word problems. Module 2: Invariant Tasks Memorization is a key component to being able to complete invariant tasks. This memorization allows for automatic responses (Reigeluth, 1999). Memorization of basic math procedures add to a student’s schema which allows them to build knowledge and master skills . Invariant tasks do not require any understanding, nor do invariant tasks require learning how to deal with variation. The application uses routine tactics by allowing a student to practice a skill by solving a problem. Enrichment tactics are used by chunking the skills into lessons that cover a specific area such as addition and subtraction, multiplication and division, and decimals. Module 3: Concept Classification The web application groups lessons by concepts. Solving problems demonstrates an understanding of the concept and applying a working knowledge of the concept demonstrates that learning has occurred (Reigeluth, 1999). Module 4: Procedure Using A procedural task requires performing a procedure to achieve a goal. Steps must be followed to solve math problems when using the web application. Module 5: Principle Using Principal Using is an instructional design theory that helps students learn and concentrates on one specific kind of learning, cognitive learning (Reigeluth, 1999). A student solving a math problem needs to comprehend the principle being learned and apply the principle to solve the word problem (Reigeluth, 1999). Module 6: Understanding The lessons are designed to check for understanding. The web application is used in a fifth grade math classroom to check to see if assimilation is occurring by having students apply information to complete math problems that incorporate the new skills being taught. As the students apply the new information
to their schema restructuring is occurring (Reigeluth, 1999). Module 7: Generic Skills Generic skills are “thinking skills” or problem solving techniques (Reigeluth, 1999). The TECH STAARS Web 2.0 application allows users to problem solve throughout the application by giving a multitude of word problems students must solve. Reigeluth(1999) defines learning strategies as “such as creating mnemonics to help you remember things” though the website does not create mnemonics, the website does give students learning strategies to solve word problems. In the web application, users are given a graphic that organizes and displays different keywords to help users solve problems. Module 8: Attitudes Williams defines attitudes in three ways: cognitive, affective, and behavioral (Williams, n.d). Students cognitive attitudes about the web 2.0 application will be positive since the website give an abundance of interactive games and videos over the topic for students to enjoy. Students will find a positive (??) emotion being invoked, or behavior attitude, because the games,videos, and content all contain stories that are pertinent to their life. For example, the Study Jams link that is contained in the TECH STAARS Web 2.0 application brings to life characters and word problems that play the guitar.
The Learning Objects Learning objects are cognitive tools designed to support and enhance the learning process. The design plan for the web application was to specifically target the numbers and operations standard while creating an efficient hierarchy of information that focused primarily on multiplication and division. Based on the third strand of the 5th grade TEKS, the following learning goals have been designed to acknowledge both the desired outcome as well as learner variability: ● Goal 1: All fifth grade students will use TECH STAARS 2.0 web application on a computer or laptop once a week for 9 consecutive weeks to increase competency for math TEK 3A which concentrates on addition and subtraction with 80 percent accuracy. ● Goal 2: All fifth grade students will use TECH STAARS 2.0 web application on a computer or laptop once a week for 9 consecutive weeks to increase competency for math TEK 3B which concentrates on multiplication with 80 percent accuracy. ● Goal 3: All fifth grade students will use TECH STAARS 2.0 web application on a computer or laptop once a week for 9 consecutive weeks to increase competency for math TEK 3C which concentrates on division including interpreting the remainder with 80 percent accuracy. The learning objects for this site reinforce concepts progressively. Most of the lessons are sequential and involve a series of steps. The activities involve gathering and then interpreting data; while the games offer several levels of proficiency.
Figure 1: Detailed learning goals
Details of the Learners The targeted audience for the web application was thirtyone 5th grade math students at North Zulch Elementary School in North Zulch, Texas. All students gained 1:1 access to the web application during a weekly visit to the computer lab. In an effort to yield reliable data, a preassessment as well as a post assessment was administered on their first and last visits respectively.
1. Entry behaviors
Basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division skills Reading to comprehend
Pretest 2. Prior knowledge of topic area
3. Attitudes toward content
Students must have basic computer skills. The 4th grade Supporting TEKS introduce the following skills: ● 4.3(B) Supporting Standard ● 4.4 (A) Supporting Standard ● 4.4 (B) Supporting Standard ● 4.4 (C) ; Supporting Standard ● 4.4(D) Readiness Standard ● 4.4(E) Readiness Standard Students may have a negative attitude towards word problems.
4. Attitudes toward potential delivery system
Interview Questionnaire Observations
Many students have it in their head that math is difficult, and that gives them a negative attitude toward math. Students might not want to share with their classmates where they are struggling in math. The application allowed students to work independently and work at their own pace. Learners are generally more interested in learning the skills involved in mastery when technology is involved. Attitude that word problems are important because we solve similar word problems every day.
5. Motivation for instruction (ARCS)
6. Educational and ability levels
pretest Previous years STAAR data Accelerated Reader Math and Reading to determine levels
7. General learning preferences
8. Attitudes toward training organization
Interviews Questionnaire Observations
9. General group characteristics
A Students need to be attentive when learning new skills. R The students need to be able to relate the skills to their lives. C The fifth graders should have the confidence to try a new skill activity. S There should be a high level of satisfaction as students reach personal goals.
Fifth grade students should be able to use their entry skills to begin working on the web application to solve math problems. Students should be able to read and comprehend text above a 2nd grade level. Fifth grade students learned best by having a teacher demonstrate how to do the skill first before trying it on their own. Our learners are most familiar with the Information Processing Model of Instruction which encourages a twoway flow of information. The computer lab schedule allowed the students time to work on the web application. Students were more willing to work if they have ample time to work independently and at their own pace. a. Fifth grade students can differ greatly in their math skills and their ability to solve problems b. Computerbased activities need to be completed by 5th grade students independently
Information Categories 1. Managerial / supervisory support
2. Physical aspects of site
Interviews: teachers Organization Records: policies and procedures
Interviews: Personal interview with teacher Observations: onsite visit
3. Social aspects of site
Observations: onsite visit ●
4. Relevance of skills to STARR
Interviews: teacher Observation: on site visits
Reward system: Learner earned awards for mastering a skill level with 80% or higher Amount and nature of direct supervision: Learner had access to a teacher while working on the web application Resources: Resources were made available to help the students understand vocabulary and math concepts Equipment: Computers were available to students to use in the computer lab Timing: Time was set aside during the week for students to work on the web application Supervision: Learners were monitored by a classroom teacher Interaction: The teacher assisted students who have questions Meet identified needs: Learner were informed of the expectations when working on the web application Current applications: Learner used current mathematical skills to solve problems Future applications: Learner used the skills learned to complete the STARR test.
Applied Skills The fifth grade math students used the TECH STAARS 2.0 web application to work towards mastery for each instructional goal. Performance objectives were identified in the instructional analysis. The desired outcome of the performance objective task was a change in attitude and an intellectual skill (Writing performance, objective, n.d.). Today users have the expectation that a site will offer some level of interactivity. In particular, research has shown that gamebased learning promotes engagement and develops problemsolving strategies (Herring 2013). The learning object for this site provides for active engagement in the form of interactive arcade style games and quizzes. For each goal, the teacher initially demonstrated the skill with a whole group lesson and guided practice. Later the students visited the computer lab to practice the desired intellectual skill through well structured problem solving. Only after scoring 80% or higher were students allowed to progress to the next activity. Tools Available to the Learner The purpose of the TECH STAARS 2.0 web application was to prepare the students for the fifth grade STAAR test in math. The web application was designed to use during the school day, but students could also work on it at home if they had a computer and Internet connection. Each student was assigned a laptop in the math lab. All resources were available on the web application. The fifth grade math teachers showed students how to use the site. Classroom instruction was given in both the classroom and math lab. Students were given anywhere from fifteen to fortyfive minutes to work on the application at one time. It was important that there was a good student teacher ratio for students working on the application. This meant only fifteen to sixteen students were working in the math lab at one time. It was important for the teacher to be friendly and helpful to create a pleasant, nonthreatening atmosphere.
Evidence of Usability When designing a web application, it is best to decide the targeted audience (Davis, 2011). The targeted audience for the TECH STARS 2.0 web application was 5th grade students at North Zulch Elementary School. The text, graphics, and font choices were all made with the targeted audience in mind. Neilson (2012) suggests using a size twelve font for web applications targeted at children ages twelve and up. The TECH STAARS application contains contains size twelve font within the paragraphs that are written on each page. The research also found that darker background with lighter text, or “positive polarity” proved to be easier to read. (Hall, Hanna, 2004). The application contains graphics that are pertinent to the information contained within the wiki. The graphics were place to ensure the audience did not find the pages overwhelming and full of information. Anderson, Jamsa, and King (2002) suggest placing the graphics to the right or left of the designs to eliminate distractions. All the graphics on the application were placed on the top left side for this reason. This will ensure that the audience will not find the pages overwhelming. Since the intended audience is fifth grade, navigation within the site was carefully inspected. The navigation bar at the top is broken up into the four different operations. Within the operation, a drop down menu appears helping students navigate to an intended page with ease.
Application Credibility The targeted audience for the TECH STARS 2.0 web application was 5th grade students at North Zulch Elementary School. This age group has a natural inquisitiveness for the world around them, and are exposed to digital media in almost every aspect of their lives. This site does a good job of presenting many abstract concepts in a form that is appropriate for the intended audience. It utilizes simulations and gamebased learning to keep the learner actively engaged in exploring the topic while simultaneously addressing most individual learning styles. The site maintains an informal tone that accurately reflects how the target audience communicates. A recent scan with CheckDog.com determined that the site is free of grammatical and spelling errors. It also failed to identify any broken links. In addition, the site appropriately provides academic references. (Permission was also properly/legally received to link the corresponding lessons to Study Jams by…).
Learning Process Instructional objectives played an important role in the designing, teaching, learning and assessing associated with this web application. The objectives were all studentcentered, specific and measurable (DocanMorgan, 2007). The overall learning objective for this site was clearly stated on the home page, and each individual lesson or activity also had a separate objective. The learning objects reinforced concepts progressively because the individual lessons were sequential and involved a series of steps. The activities involved gathering and then interpreting/applying mathematical data; while the games and quizzes offered levels of proficiency. The quizzes and arcade style games also provided an opportunity to receive immediate feedback on the intended knowledge or skill as an incentive to engage the learner. While the overall learning objective of preparing for the 5th grade STAAR test may be considered broad and offering little guidance, each individual learning object meets the objectives. Many of the activities involve constructing knowledge through gamebased learning, while others involve exploring Bloom’s Taxonomy and cognitive learning.
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