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Teaching and Learning in CBL (CBL7010)

EVALUATING INSTRUCTIONAL DESIGN


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Mary Price, 9788654 January 2010

Teaching and Learning in CBL (CBL7010)

Mary Price, 9788654


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CONTENTS Page 1

Introduction

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Overview of Prototype

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Evaluation of Appropriateness and Quality of Interactive Strategies Adopted

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Interactivity – Recommendations

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Evaluation of Appropriateness and Quality of Motivational Strategies Adopted

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Motivation – Recommendations

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Evaluation - Appropriateness and Quality of Collaborative Strategies Adopted

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Collaboration – Recommendations

13 - 14

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Conclusion

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References

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DIAGRAMS AND CHARTS Figure 1 - User-registration to facilitate personalisation of feedback

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Figure 2 - Example of personalised feedback

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Figure 3 - User-registration to facilitate personalised notes

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Figure 4 - Example of personalised notes

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Figure 5 - Example of accessible notes option

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TABLES Table 1 - Interactivity Log: The Vikings

Teaching and Learning in CBL (CBL7010)

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Mary Price, 9788654


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1

INTRODUCTION

The ‘guarantee’ of developing a valuable interactive multimedia package that ‘supports effective learning and teaching’ depends on ‘evaluation and revision’, (Alessi and Trollip, 2001). This report evaluates the appropriateness and quality of a computer based learning (CBL) prototype entitled ‘The Vikings’ that was designed and constructed by a development team in Queen’s University. The evaluation forms part of the formative evaluation ‘cycle’, (Alessi and Trollip, 2001) and considers the appropriateness and quality of the instructional design of the package in terms of how well it supports interactivity, motivation and collaboration. The report also makes recommendations to improve support in these areas.

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OVERVIEW OF PROTOTYPE

‘The Vikings’ is a history package designed for and targeted at Key Stage 2 and as such is intended to be used by primary school pupils in Years 5, 6 and 7. The content of the package correlates to the primary curriculum ‘area of learning’ entitled ‘The World around Us’. Therefore, completion of the package should enable pupils to develop knowledge, understanding and skills within the contributory element of history. Additionally, pupils using the resource should have the opportunity to develop skills and capabilities for ‘life-long learning’, including managing information, thinking, problem solving and making decisions, being creative, working with others and self-management, as specified within the Revised Northern Ireland Curriculum (2007). The developer claims that the instructional design of ‘The Vikings’ is underpinned by the theory of situated learning, is highly interactive and student-centred and recommends that pupils use it while working in pairs.

According to Lave (1988 cited in Smith 2003, 2009) learning occurs as a

consequence of the ‘activity, context and culture’ in which it takes place and ‘social interaction’ and ‘collaboration’ are crucial elements. Situated learning, is based on Vygotsky social-constructivist theory and emphasises ‘social interaction’ as a ‘critical component’’. McGregor (2007) discussing the socio-cultural perspective of social-constructivist theory emphasises that ‘thinking and learning’ occurs through engagement with ‘cultural’ practices and Brown et al (1989), who observed learning in ‘situ’, highlights the benefits of this approach stating that learning is effective as people who learn in this way ‘pick up relevant jargon’ and ‘cultural practices’ very successfully.

Teaching and Learning in CBL (CBL7010)

Mary Price, 9788654


5 From a teaching perspective situated learning shifts the focus from ‘knowledge transmission’ towards ‘knowledge construction’, (McInerney and McInerney, 1994 cited in Dalgarno 2001). Whereas the traditional instructional design (TID) model assumes each learner ‘learns the same things in the same way at the same time’, the socio-cultural instructional design (SCID) model assumes that each learner ‘constructs his/her own meaning’ and learning results from ‘experience and discourse’, (Grabinger et al, 2007). Developers of the prototype have employed a ‘game’, ‘exploratory environment’ type methodology’ to present the content of the primary history topic ‘The Viking Age’. The game uses an adventure/problem-solving scenario to ‘present information’ as described by Alessi and Trollip (2001) in their ‘phases of instruction’ model. Thus within the ‘Vikings’ package the illusion of being ‘transported’ to ‘Norway in the year 800AD’ and the subsequent visits to Astrid’s hut, Sven’s workshop and Olaf’s home and the ‘discussions’ that follow provide the ‘context’ and ‘culture’ aligned with situated learning.

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EVALUATION OF APPROPRIATENESS AND QUALITY OF INTERACTIVE STRATEGIES ADOPTED

Interactivity is judged to be a ‘vague concept’ (Oliver, 1996 cited in Stoney and Wild, 1998) and literature in this area includes much debate about its ‘meaning’ thus making it ‘difficult to examine’ (Lustria, 2007). Within the field of instructional design the terms ‘interaction’ and ‘interactivity’ are frequently used to describe one and the same thing, (Rose, 1999). Nevertheless, Zhang and Fulford (1994, cited in Kreijns et al, 2003) and Gilbert and Moore (1998) make a distinction between ‘instructional’ interactivity and ‘social’ interaction. This evaluation will be concerned with interactivity as it relates to the ‘instructional objectives’ (Gilbert and Moore, 1998) contained within the ‘Vikings’ package. Stoney and Wild (1998) describe interactive multimedia as programs that encompass a range of media and which oblige users to be ‘active’ rather than ‘passive’ participants. Interactivity, according to Aldrich et al (1998) is a fundamental feature of multimedia software and as such is ‘crucial to the acquisition of knowledge’, (Sim, 1997). Laurillard and Taylor (1994) allude to the fact that the interactive nature of multimedia offers the potential to ‘hold’ learners interest and ‘support’ learning of ‘complex’ concepts while other researchers claim that it ‘boosts the speed’ of learning and enhances ‘confidence and motivation’, (Horton, 2000, Klassen, Vogel and Moody, 2001, cited in Sabry and Barker, 2009).

Teaching and Learning in CBL (CBL7010)

Mary Price, 9788654


6 Previous attempts to evaluate the effectiveness of learning using multimedia products presumed that this should be based on the degree of interactivity the product supported, Borsook and Higginbotham-Wheat, 1991). Spector (1995, cited in Sims, 1997) on the other hand considers that learning effectiveness has more to do with the user’s ‘mental engagement with the materials’ rather than degree of interaction. The solution, according to Aldrich et al (1998) is being able to identify ‘interactivities’ that encourage ‘effective learning and put interactivity to good use’ thus enabling learners to become ‘active in their own learning’ as stressed by constructivist theorists. Educational technology research identified interactive learning activities on a ‘continuum’ ranging from ‘reactive’ to ‘proactive’ where ‘proactive’ involves the learner in active ‘construction of knowledge. More recently, Davies (2002) in consideration of interactive features that support effective learning made a distinction between ‘navigational’ interactivity and ‘instructional’ interactivity, which he claims must ‘co-exist for successful learning’. Table 1 below illustrates the instructional and navigational activities identified within the ‘Vikings’ package. The instructional interactivity features have been phrased to facilitate collaboration as the developer anticipated that learners will be working in pairs. An analysis of the table shows that the ‘navigational’ interactivity features, which reflect the lower end of the continuum and are concerned with the learner ‘taking some action and the computer responding’ (Aldrich et al, 1998), outweigh the ‘instructional’ activities. Eleven of the nineteen ‘instructional’ activities involve reading, while eight of the activities require the learner to make decisions, discuss, compose, agree and consider as a means of ‘constructing’ their own meaning. Table 1 – Interactivity Log: The Vikings Instructional Interactivity

Navigational Interactivity

1. Read text to understand task 2. Decide what artefact to uncover 3. Discuss answers to 4 open questions 4. Read and interpret clues 5. Read and interpret instructions 6. Read villager’s ‘Welcome’ message 7. Read question text x 3 8. Read answer to question x 3 9. Discuss and agree important points x 3 10. Compose, agree and type notes x 3 11. Discuss who might own the sword x 3 12. Read definition of linked words 13. Read the information on Seven’s work 14. Consider/discuss Seven’s challenge 15. Discuss and agree answers to place names quiz 16. Read correct/incorrect feedback 17. Read quiz questions 18. Consider/discuss/agree correct answer 19. Read correct/incorrect feedback

20. Click to ‘Enter’ the package 21. Click ‘Next’ to move to grid 22. Click to Begin 23. Key in coordinate for artefact 24. Click ‘OK’ and ‘Yes’ to begin study of sword 25. Click hotspots on sword to view clues 26. Move mouse around the ‘village’ screen 27. Click to enter villager’s hut 28. Click ‘Show Question’ x 3 29. Click ‘Answer Question’ x 3 30. Click to open ‘Take Notes’ screen x 3 31. Save notes x 3 32. Click to return to ‘Village’ x 3 33. Click on ‘Guess Page’ 34. Click on owner of the sword 35. Click on Seven’s hands to see what he can make 36. Click on ‘glossary’ hotspots 37. Move mouse over Seven’s work 38. Click to accept Seven’s challenge 39. Dragging suffixes around screen 40. Print notes 41. Click on ‘Quiz’ 42. Move mouse over each target to uncover possible answers 43. Click on answer

Teaching and Learning in CBL (CBL7010)

Mary Price, 9788654


7 Design for interactivity according to Bates and Leary (2001, cited in Sabry and Barker, 2009) necessitates a transfer from ‘teacher-student dependence’ to ‘teacher-student independence’ design. Within the ‘Vikings’ package learners have a level of control over the activities they engage with in terms of ‘sequencing, pace and amount of practice’ as described by Borsook et al (1990). However, as highlighted by them devolving too much control can result in ‘disappointing performance’. Indeed Laurillard and Taylor (1994) stress that while interactivity offers the potential to enhance learning a disadvantage of these systems is that often learners fail to spend sufficient time considering and ‘analysing’ content. Grabe and Grabe (2008) emphasise that instructional software does not remove the necessity for ‘teaching’ or ‘teaching supervision’ and Laurillard and Taylor (1994) suggest that ‘productive on-task activity’ is achieved when ‘interactivity and support’ are provided.

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INTERACTIVE STRATEGIES - RECOMMENDATIONS

As highlighted in Table 1 above, the ‘Vikings’ package offers a range of instructional interactive activities as described by Davies (2002), nevertheless, additional strategies could be implemented to enhance interactivity that may make learning more effective. For example, elements 3, 9, 10, 13, 14 and 18, while mainly appropriate could be extended. Prior to starting their ‘quest’ learners are asked four ‘open questions’, including a requirement that answers should be discussed and recorded would create an opportunity for learners to ‘externalise’ their knowledge of the topic as a means of increasing their understanding. Opportunities exist within elements 9 and 10 as suggested above. While the navigational interactivity within elements 14 and 18 is appropriate, at an ‘instructional’ level they could be improved. For example, learners could be asked to come up and record the names of other Viking towns using the ‘suffixes’ that appear within the quiz. Additionally, the summative quiz, ie Rollo’s Quiz, could be more comprehensive and incorporate a range of question types. The current questions require simple recall and only assess a small element of the content. Questions that encourage learners to analyse and discuss their findings would better facilitate effective learning. The ‘Vikings’ package is intended to be used by pupils in years 5, 6 and 7 and while elements of existing ‘instructional’ interactivities could be enhanced for all, as indicated above, a greater range of interactive elements could be provided, perhaps as extended activities, for more able learners and those within years 6 and 7. For example, Chou (2003) suggests that to facilitate more ‘content choices’ designers should consider incorporating links to ‘related learning materials’. Element 13 within Table 1 above provides one such opportunity. Currently rollovers are used to reveal facts Teaching and Learning in CBL (CBL7010)

Mary Price, 9788654


8 about the various examples of Sven’s work. Providing links to additional information in the form of spoken narrative or short video clips followed by an interactive quiz would provide extended learning opportunities for more able learners. Referring to interactivity and control, Robertson (1998) states that they are ‘complex overlapping concepts’. Although the control that complements interactivity within the ‘Vikings’ package allows learners to ‘explore’ and ‘discover’ information independently, and this notion is embraced by the theory of situated learning, Laurillard and Taylor (1994) stress that control and interactive elements must be suited to their target audience. While the level of interactivity could be enhanced as suggested above, the level of choice could be better controlled through the use of ‘narrative’ as suggested by Dickey (2006). For example, explaining that each of the villagers held a clue to the owner of the sword would discourage learners from by-passing some of the instructional ‘content’.

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EVALUATION OF APPROPRIATENESS AND QUALITY OF MOTIVATIONAL STRATEGIES ADOPTED

Motivation has been described as a person’s ‘aroused desire for participation in a learning process’ (Curzon, 1990, cited in Armitage et al, 2003) and is considered to be ‘essential to learning’, (Alessi and Trollip, 2001). Those who voluntarily participate in learning are said to be intrinsically motivated while those who participate with the expectation of some form of return are thought to be extrinsically motivated, (Malone, 1981). Deci and Ryan (2000) found that intrinsically motivated learners are more ‘dedicated’, perform ‘better’ and demonstrate greater ‘persistence’ than those who are extrinsically motivated and much research had been devoted to identifying instructional techniques that enhance learners’ intrinsic motivation. Instructional designers, according to Lepper and Malone (1987) should make use of motivational strategies at ‘macro’ and ‘micro’ levels. At ‘macro-level’ the pedagogical methodology employed must correspond to the needs of the target audience. A belief exists that games are by nature intrinsically motivating. McFarlane (1997) makes the point that adventure games encourage a ‘playful’ approach to learning; therefore the adventure game/exploratory environment format employed within the Vikings package has the potential to engage and motivate learners. Nevertheless, Keller (2006) as a consequence of his research into ‘motivational design’ cautions against instructional materials that are ‘very appealing without being effective’ and emphasises that motivational strategies must ‘support’ instructional goals. Motivational strategies at a ‘micro’ level will be concerned with ‘elements of a lesson’, (Lepper and Malone, 1987). Much research has been undertaken to understand how elements of game design

Teaching and Learning in CBL (CBL7010)

Mary Price, 9788654


9 could be ‘repurposed’ for instructional ends, (Dickey, 2006). Most notable is Malone and Lepper’s model dating back to 1987 and Keller’s ARCS model (1983, cited by Small 1997). The content of ‘The Vikings’ package will be evaluated against motivational supports suggested by these models. ‘Curiosity’ according to Malone (1981) is an essential element of ‘intrinsically motivating environments’ and Keller within the ‘Attention’ category of his model identified techniques for ‘arousing and sustaining curiosity’. The atmospheric music and graphic image within the opening screen of the ‘Vikings’ package and the ‘motivational narrative’ (Dickey, 2006) used to ‘establish the setting’, ie, “In the year 800AD …” and the ‘plot hook’, ie, “… it is now your job to uncover it” offer the potential to attract attention and raise interest. The integration of questioning throughout the package, ie, “Where will you go today?” and “Now how about a challenge – do you accept?” should challenge the user, arouse curiosity and create a sense of ‘intrigue’. Additionally, the use of ‘hotspots’ within the ‘village’ screen adds an element of surprise and mystery. To add variability, as suggested by Keller (2000), a range of activities have been integrated into the package, for example, users must negotiate a ‘grid’ to select the artefact they wish to ‘uncover’, use roll-overs to locate clues about the sword, have ‘discussions’ with villagers to gather information about the sword and complete quizzes to assess their understanding. Choice or ‘Control’ or the ‘illusion’ of it are said to increase user’s motivation, (Piaget, 1971, cited in Malone, 1981). The ‘key’ to optimal motivation, according to Becker and Dwyer (1994, cited in Stoney and Wild, 1998) is to provide ‘system, process and content’ control for the user. Nevertheless, not all theorists agree. Lowyck and Pöysä (2001) make the point that control may increase motivation but not necessarily ‘achievement’ and Snow (1980, cited in Naidu, 1995) is in agreement stating that the assumption that all learners will make the best choices is ‘untenable’. Thus, learner control is a ‘complex variable’ and matching control elements that lead to ‘optimal’ learning is a concern for instructional designers. When fully complete users will be able to choose which artefact/s they wish to uncover, what ‘villagers’ they want to engage with to obtain information and whether to use the ‘Note’ facility to record their findings. These features may enhance intrinsic motivation as they facilitate a level of self-direction. One concern though is the option to ‘Guess’ the owner of the sword before all relevant information has been gathered, therefore, there may be the temptation, as observed by Laurillard and Taylor (1994), to ‘sample’ and ‘hurry on’ rather than complete all activities first. The developers have utilised strategies to enhance user’s motivation by incorporating motivational feedback as recommended by Malone and Keller. Malone (1981) states that feedback should be informative and constructive and should help users increase their knowledge. This element is evident within ‘Rollo’s Quiz’. When the user answers a question correctly he/she receives ‘praise’ for each correct answer and a ‘reward’ on successful completion of the quiz. When questions are answered incorrectly the user is directed back to the relevant section of the package to ‘find out the Teaching and Learning in CBL (CBL7010)

Mary Price, 9788654


10 facts’. Research completed by Moreno and Mayer (2005, cited in Clarke and Mayer, 2008) found that learning was more successful when learners received ‘explanatory feedback’ rather than ‘corrective feedback’. This is evident within the ‘place names’ quiz as feedback in the form of ‘corrective’ and ‘explanatory’ feedback is provided for each correct and incorrect answer.

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MOTIVATIONAL STRATEGIES - RECOMMENDATIONS

Mardsjo (1996, cited in Stoney and Wild, 1998) claims that the ‘interface in multimedia’ is not simply an ‘access’ route to the product but defines the user’s ‘experience’ of it. Stoney and Wild (1998) contend that learners are motivated by interfaces that are ‘easy to use’. They stress that instructional designers must strive to produce intrinsically motivating interfaces that are ‘intuitive’ in order to reduce ‘cognitive load’ and Preece et al (1994, cited in Karoulis, 2006) also stress this point by suggesting that the ‘interface’ must ‘quickly disappear’ if the user is to be allowed to easily focus on his ‘task’. To this end it is recommended that user guidance/directions within the ‘Vikings’ be specified more clearly. Currently an instruction to ‘move your mouse over the sword – there may be clues’ achieves nothing and would cause frustration to the user. Similarly, to speak to the villagers the instruction to ‘click on the button below’ is ineffective as no button exists, therefore, the wording of all instructions need to be made clear and unambiguous. A simple instruction to “Click on the sword – there may be clues” would reduce the potential for uncertainty. Currently, a proportion of the dialogue text within the package is revealed ‘letter-by-letter’ or ‘line-byline’ which could demotivate learners. Alessi and Trollip (2001) stress that ‘attention’ and ‘perception’ can be affected when information is presented either ‘too quickly or too slowly’. It is recommended that text should be presented as one block which would make reading easier and reduce the negative effect of the present technique. Mooney and Bligh (1997) in their courseware development model for the design of CBL materials for medical education recommended ‘personalised feedback’ as a key educational feature and Kim and Keller (2008) found that the motivation of learners, in terms of confidence, was higher when they received ‘personalised messages’. To enhance learner motivation it is recommended that learners be required to ‘key in’ their name at the start of their session as shown in Figures 1 and 3 below. These details would then be used to personalise the learning experience by providing ‘personalised feedback and ‘personalised messages’ as shown in Figures 2 and 4 below.

Teaching and Learning in CBL (CBL7010)

Mary Price, 9788654


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Figure 1 – User-registration to facilitate personalisation of feedback

Figure 2 – Example of personalised feedback

Figure 3 – User-registration to facilitate personalised notes

Teaching and Learning in CBL (CBL7010)

Mary Price, 9788654


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Figure 4 – Example of personalised notes

Research undertaken by Visser & Keller (1990, cited in Song and Keller, 2001) showed that ‘excessive’ use of motivational strategies within CBL had a negative impact as it could ‘decrease motivation’ by ‘annoying’ learners. This conclusion was confirmed by Song and Keller (2001) who found that ‘motivationally saturated’ CBL was less effective than ‘motivationally adaptive’ CBL. Similarly, Astleitner and Lintner (2001) caution against ‘seductive details’ that are ‘interesting’ but ‘disrupt’ the process of learning. Elements intended to raise interest were noted within the ‘Vikings’ package. While humour can maintain interest, if poorly used it may be ‘distracting’, for example, hotspots, within the ‘Village’ screen reveal such statements as - ‘Tweet! Tweet! Silly move, kid!’ and ‘Sorry, but these cows have nothing to say because cows can’t TALK!!’ It is recommended that these elements be removed as they are likely to cause annoyance and consequently ‘hinder’ learning. Laurillard and Taylor (1994) found that ‘free exploration was rarely successful’. While socialconstructivist theory emphasises ‘active learning’ and ‘social-interaction’ there is recognition that teachers ‘perform a critical function’ in ensuring that learning is meaningful, therefore, it is recommended, as suggested by Laurilliard (1995, cited in Stoney and Wild, 1998) that learner control within the package is supported by ‘coaching’ from the teacher. This could be achieved through the provision of teacher support materials and ‘off-line’ activities to ‘scaffold’ learning, Laurilliard (1995).

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EVALUATION OF APPROPRIATENESS AND QUALITY OF COLLABORATIVE STRATEGIES ADOPTED

Prichard et all (2006) define collaborative learning as an approach whereby students work collaboratively ‘towards a common learning goal’. Concerned with SCID Garbinger et al (2007)

Teaching and Learning in CBL (CBL7010)

Mary Price, 9788654


13 highlight ‘discourse’ as being ‘the chief mechanism for learning’ in socio-cultural learning environments and emphasise that teaching strategies must concentrate on facilitating this. McFarlane (1997) states that social interaction enhances understanding when learners are required to ‘articulate’ their ideas in group ‘problem-solving’ situations. This view is shared by many researchers. Underwood and Underwood (1990) found that group discussion was an ‘aid to individual understanding’ and Laurillard (2008) makes the point that the requirement to express an idea reveals for learners what they do not understand. Additionally, Blaye et al (1988, cited in Laurillard, 1992) found that learners who worked in pairs were then able to work better by themselves in a follow up task. However, Wegerif et al (1998) referring to the potential of CBL to support collaboration, reports that not all discussion ‘around computers’ is valuable. Indeed Alessi and Trollip (2001) acknowledge that ‘very few’ multimedia programs adequately support collaboration and research into computersupported collaborative learning (CSCL) has also confirmed that these environments often fall short of the ‘social interactions needed for dialogue’, (Kreijns et al, 2003). The ‘Vikings’ prototype presents the content of the topic ‘Viking Raiders’ in an ‘adventure game’ type scenario whereby the ‘quest’ is to ‘uncover’ an artefact and learn more about it using clues and by questioning villagers. Crook (1987, cited in McFarlane, 1997) makes the point that ‘adventure games’ encourage the ‘richest’ discussions. Having selected the sword, a series of questions are posed, for example, ‘Who do you think owned this weapon’ and ‘Do you think it was used in battle?’ These questions could potentially encourage discussion between learners; nevertheless, without additional support there is no guarantee of this. Lipponen and Lallimo (2004) suggest that collaboration is facilitated when learners are required to ‘externalise ideas by writing’. In their view this process helps to make ‘thinking visible’ and encourages reflection. Similarly, Garbinger et al (2007) identify the sharing of ‘findings’ as something that would encourage ‘discourse’. Within the ‘Vikings’ package learners have the opportunity to record their findings using a ‘Notes’ facility. This resource, if used appropriately, could encourage discussion and an exchange of ideas to isolate relevant facts about the sword. Research into ‘effective interfaces’ deduced that pupil ‘talk’ can be shaped by the software being utilised and Wegerif et al (1998) identified a number of interface design elements that support ‘exploratory talk’. Exploratory talk, according to Wegerif et al, which involves ‘critical but constructive’ discussion, can be encouraged when learners are presented with ‘choices’ that are inserted into ‘motivating narrative’. The Viking place names quiz is one example of a feature that could facilitate such talk. Another example is the ‘Guess Page’ feature. Before deciding the owner of the sword the learners would need to draw together the evidence they had accumulated and Teaching and Learning in CBL (CBL7010)

Mary Price, 9788654


14 justify their selection before agreeing an answer. The summative quiz also provides users with an opportunity to discuss and agree answers.

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COLLABORATIVE STRATEGIES – RECOMMENDATIONS

Laurillard (1992) identified conditions under which collaborative work using CBL simulations was ineffective. These conditions included ‘lack of goal’ and ‘lack of preparation’ while Prichard et al (2006) suggested that to be successful ‘collaborative’ work needs to be facilitated. Another problem linked to collaborative learning surrounds the make-up of groups. Johnson and Johnson (1989, cited in Kreijns et al, 2003) make the point that productive collaboration cannot be assured by simply placing pupils in groups and Crooks (1997) concluded that to be successful collaboration must be well ‘orchestrated’. The ‘goal’ of uncovering an artefact is specified on the second screen of the package and later learners are told that they must ‘locate’ the sword’s original ‘owner’. Laurillard (1992) identified ‘lack of goal’ as one characteristic that reduced communication between learners. Although goals are specified learners also need to locate, analyse and remember facts in order to learn about specific objects used by Viking raiders and become familiar with Viking place names. The existing goals do not fully reflect what is required; therefore, collaborative opportunities may be lost. Collaborative opportunities would be maximised if the learning objectives were more explicit. In keeping with the ‘game-type’ methodology the goals should be couched in ‘motivating narrative’, for example, as a ‘challenge’, as suggested by Dickey (2006). Research into the ‘quality of talk’ generated by different types of software suggests that the ‘structure’ of the task can influence discourse, Tolmie et al (1993). However Wegerif et al (1998) found that software was not the only influence. Through research completed with primary school children they discovered that the quality of talk improved when pupils received off-computer coaching in ‘ground rules’, when the software interface supported collaboration and when the content of the package was relevant to the curriculum being followed. Discussing how teachers can ‘promote’ collaborative learning, Webb (2009) makes the point that ‘learning groups’ do not automatically participate in valuable ‘dialogue without help’. It is therefore recommended that resource materials to accompany the package be created for teaching staff. The accompanying notes would explain the benefits of collaborative learning, the pre-requisites for successful collaborative learning and a series of ‘off-computer’ group work activities that would ensure that learners were experienced collaborators prior to working at the computer.

Teaching and Learning in CBL (CBL7010)

Mary Price, 9788654


15 The makeup of collaborative groups has been found to influence group outcomes. Hooper and Hanafin (1991) established that group achievements ‘correspond’ to the state of group interactions and Johnson and Johnson (1989, cited in Kreijns, 2003) found that effective collaboration was unlikely in the absence of ‘social interaction’. Similarly, Crook (1997) suggests that productive collaboration among primary school children may depend on existing friendships among members of the group. While the Cognition and Technology Group at Vanderbilt (1991, cited in Bank and Cunningham, 1998) emphasise that teachers in constructivist classrooms ‘perform a critical learning function’ and consequently are responsible for creating the conditions for effective collaborative learning. It is therefore recommended that support materials to accompany the ‘Vikings’ package include guidance for teachers, not only on the importance of ‘coaching’ as suggested previously, but on the composition of collaborative groups and highlighting research on ‘friendships groups’. While the ‘Notes’ option within the package supports collaboration through the ‘externalisation’ of ideas as a means of reflection and sharing (Lipponen and Lallimo (2004), Garbinger et al (2007), the full benefits are unlikely to be realised in its present format as there are no ‘prompts’ to encourage users to make use of it. An alternative design would be to present the ‘notes’ page in a more ‘visible’ way so that it is easily accessible. An example of this is provided in Figure 5 below.

Figure 5 – Example of accessible notes option

A review of the ’instructional’ and ‘navigational’ activities available within the ‘Vikings’ package, as shown in Table 1 above, indicates that the designers have incorporated a range of techniques that have the potential to encourage collaborative learning. Nevertheless, opportunities could be maximised if the design narrative incorporated specific prompts or ‘cues’ (McGregor, 2007, Hummel et al, 2006, Mercer, 1994) to encourage learners to collaborate. For example where learners are required to make decisions there could be a prompt that says “You will now have a number of

Teaching and Learning in CBL (CBL7010)

Mary Price, 9788654


16 decisions to make…” or “Discuss your findings ….”. These cues are described as ‘psychological tools’ (McGregor, 2007) used to ‘mediate thinking’ which can scaffold learning.

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CONCLUSION

This aims of this report were to evaluate the design of ‘The Vikings’ prototype in terms of how well the instructional strategies used support interactivity, motivation and collaboration and to make recommendations to improve support in these areas with reference to the literature. The findings from the evaluation suggest that additional support strategies are required within the three main areas under investigation to ensure that the package adequately supports effective learning. Although the interactive, motivational and collaborative strategies employed by the designers were found to be mainly appropriate, opportunities exist for improvements in each area. While the package is underpinned by the theory of situated learning which emphasises the importance of social interaction and collaboration, it is evident that this approach, if unsupported may not be successful with the target audience. Consequently, a number of recommendations relating to the support and control elements offered within the package have been made some of which focus on the support teachers will require in order to ‘scaffold’ learning in the primary classroom.

Teaching and Learning in CBL (CBL7010)

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REFERENCES Aldrich, F., Rogers, Y. and Scaife, M., 1998. Getting to grips with ‘interactivity’: helping teachers access the educational value of CD-ROMs. British Journal of Educational Technology. Volume 29 (4), pp 321-332. Alessi, S. M. and Trollip S., 2001. Multimedia for learning – methods and development, 3 rd Edition, Boston: Allyn and Bacon. Armitage, A et al, 2003. Teaching and training in post-compulsory education, 2nd Edition, Maidenhead: Open University Press Bonk, C.J. and Cunningham, D.J., 1998. Chapter 2: Searching for learner-centered, constructivist, and sociocultural components of collaborative educational learning tools. In C.J. Bonk and K.S. King (Eds.), Electronic collaborators: Learner-centered technologies for literacy, apprenticeship, and discourse, pp 25-50. Mahwah, J.J: Erlbaum. Borsook, T.K. and Higginbotham-Wheat, N., 1991. Interactivity: What is it and what can it do for computer-based instruction? Educational Technology. Volume 31 (10), pp 11-17. Brown, J.S., Collins, A. and Duguid, A., 1989. Situated cognition and the culture of learning. Educational Researcher, Volume 18 (1), pp 32-42. Available at: http://www.jstor.org/pss/1176008. [Last Accessed: 13 January 2010]. Clarke, R.C. and Mayer, R. E., 2008. e-Learning and the science of instruction, proven guidelines for consumers and designers of multimedia learning, 2 nd Edition, Pfeiffer. Crook, C., 1997. Children as computer users: The case of collaborative learning. Computers Education, Volume 30 (3/4), pp 237-247 Davies, C.H.J., 2002. Student engagement with simulations: a case study. Computers and Education, Volume 39, pp 271-282. Dalgarno, B., 2001. Interpretations of constructivism and consequences for computer assisted learning. British Journal of Educational Technology, 32 (2), pp 183-194. Deci, E.L. and Ryan, R.M., 2000. The ‘what’ and ‘why’ of goal pursuits: Human needs and the selfdetermination of behaviour, Journal of Psychological Inquiry, Volume 11, pp 227-268. Dickey, M.D., 2006. Engaging by design: How engagement strategies in popular computer and video games can inform instructional design, Journal of Educational Technology Research and Development, Volume 53 (2), pp 67-83. Gilbert, L. and Moore, D.R., 1998. Building interactivity into web courses: tools for social and instructional interaction, Educational Technology, Journal 38 (3), pp 29-35. Grabinger, S., Aplin, G. and Ponnappa-Brenner, G., 2007. Instructional design for sociocultural learning environments, e-Journal of Instructional Science and Technology, Volume 10 (1). Karoulis, A., 2006. Guidelines on the design of effective CBL environments. Informatics in Education, Volume 5 (1), pp 77-86. Kreijns, K., Kirschner, P.A. and Jochems, W., 2003. Identifying the pitfalls for social interaction in computer-supported collaborative learning environments: a review of the research. Computers in Human Behavior, Volume 19, pp 335-353. Kim, C.M. and Keller, J.M., 2008. Effects of motivational and volitional email messages (MVEM) with personal messages on undergraduate students’ motivation, study habits and achievement. British Journal of Educational Technology, Volume 39 (1), pp 36-51. Teaching and Learning in CBL (CBL7010)

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Laurillard, D., 1992. Learning through collaborative computer simulations. British Journal of Educational Technology, Volume 23 (3), pp 164-171. Laurillard, D. and Taylor, J., 1994. Designing the stepping stones: An evaluation of interactive media in the classroom, Journal of Educational Television, Volume 20 (3), pp 169-84. Laurillard, D., 2009. The pedagogical challenges to collaborative technologies. ComputerSupported Collaborative Learning, Volume 4, pp 5-20. Lave, J., 1988. Situated Learning: The Theory into Practice Database. Available at: http://www.gwu.edu/~tip/. [Last Accessed: 2nd January 2010]. Lepper, M.R., Woolverton, M., Mumme, D.L. and Gurtner, J., 1993. Motivational techniques of expert human tutors: Lessons for the design of computer based tutors. In S.P. Lajoie and S.J. Derry (Eds.), Computers as cognitive tools, pp 75-105). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum. Lowyck, J. and Poysa, J., 2001. Design of collaborative learning environments. Computers in Human Behavior, Volume 17, pp 507-516. Lustria, M.L.A., 2007. Can interactivity make a difference? Effects of interactivity on the comprehension of and attitudes toward online health content. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology, Journal 58 (6), pp 766-776. McFarlane, A., 1997. Information technology and authentic learning – realizing the potential of computers in the primary classroom, Edited Angela McFarlane, Routledge/Falmer, Taylor & Francis Group, London and New York. McGregor, D., 2007. Developing thinking, developing learning: A guide to thinking skills in education. Open University Press, McGraw-Hill, England. Malone, T.W., 1981. Towards a theory of intrinsically motivating instruction. Cognitive Science: A multidisciplinary Journal, Journal 5 (4), pp 333-369, Available at: http://www.informaworld.com/smpp/content~db=all~content=a784395478, [Last Accessed: 15 November 2009]. Mooney, G.A. and Bligh, J.G., 1997. Computer-based learning materials for medical education: a model production. Medical Education, Journal 31, 197-201, Available at: http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/121661294 [Last Accessed: 15 November 2009]. Naidu, S., 1995. Definitions of instructional control in learning environments. Australian Journal of Educational Technology, Volume 11 (1), pp 12-19. Prichard, J.S., Bizo, L.A. and Stratford, R.J., 2006. The educational impact of team-skills training: Preparing students to work in groups. British Journal of Educational Psychology, Volume 76, pp 119-140. Revised Northern Ireland Curriculum, Available at: http://www.nicurriculum.org.uk/docs/key_stages_1_and_2/areas_of_learning/the_world_around_us/ WAUGridHistory.pdf, [Last Accessed: 13 January 2010]. Rose, E., 1999. Deconstructing interactivity in educational computing. Educational Technology, Journal 39 (1), pp 43-49. Sabry, K. and Barker, J., 2009. Dynamic interactive learning systems. Innovations in Education and Teaching International, Volume 46 (2), pp 185-197.

Teaching and Learning in CBL (CBL7010)

Mary Price, 9788654


19 Sims, R., 1997. Interactivity: A forgotten art? Computers in Human Behavior, Volume 13 (2), pp 157-180. Small, V., 1997. Motivation in instructional design. ERIC Clearinghouse on Information & Technology, Available at: http://www.ericdigests.org/1998-1/motivation.htm, [Last Accessed: 15 November 2009]. Smith, M. K., 2003, 2009. Communities of practice, the encyclopaedia of informal education, Available at: www.infed.org/biblio/communities_of_practice.htm [Last Accessed: 3rd January 2010]. Stoney, S. and Wild, M., 1998. Motivation and interface design: maximising learning opportunities. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, Volume 14, pp 40-50 Su, B., Bonk, C.J., Magjuka, R.J., Liu, X and Lee, S., 2005. The importance of interaction in webbased education: A program-level case study of online MBA courses. Journal of Interactive Online Learning, Journal 4 (1). Underwood, J.D.M. and Underwood, G, 1990. Computers and learning, helping children acquire thinking skills. Chapter 7, Stimulating social interaction with the computer, Blackwell. Webb, M., 2009. The teacher’s role in promoting collaborative dialogue in the classroom. British Journal of Educational Psychology, Volume 79, pp 1-28. Wegerif, R., Mercer, N. and Dawes, L., 1998. Software design to support discussion in the primary curriculum. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, Volume 14, pp 199-211.

Teaching and Learning in CBL (CBL7010)

Mary Price, 9788654


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Teaching and Learning in CBL

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