THE QJF Research Centre for Computer Aided Learning

New epistemologically oriented educational software design in the context of the visual thinking capabilities of the Shape Understanding System

 

One of the aims of this research is an attempt to develop new forms of evaluation of educational software effectiveness, measured by studentsí achievements. It is also important to stress that computerization of the educational process is not merely a matter of equipment, but even more importantly of awareness of changes that it brings. Thus the computer is treated here in a dual sense. In the first and narrow sense, as a modern educational mean which can improve the learning/teaching process, and in the second sense, as an information operator influencing the method of thought.

There are various methods of software evaluation but most of them formulate ad hoc criteria for evaluation. At this stage does not exist any empirical methods of educational evaluation so there is a need for elaboration of the method of the evaluation of the educational software. The new method of the software evaluation needs to take into account factors that have influence on the learning process and on the understanding, as the result of the learning process.

Existing educational software is applied across a broad range of domains and topics. In this study we will restrict our attention to mathematics as a domain where there is the most of the educational software available. Each topic has its specific factors that have influence on the degree of difficulties in learning to understand. There are also many factors that are characteristic for the group of topics such as complexity or dependence on the context knowledge that needs to be learnt.

In this project existing educational software is assessed based on the evaluation methods that are now being developed. The test for measuring ability is being elaborated, taking also into account the results of the previous research in designing and testing educational software and application of the software in educational process. The results of the research will be applied to elaborate a new complex method for the designing and implementing educational software.

Curriculum and its changes (improvements) affected by introduction of the educational software are also under study.

 

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