Drill and Practice Activities
- The well-designed drill and practice programs should have the following elements:
- Control over the presentation rate.
- Appropriate feedback for correct answers.
- Better reinforcement for correct answers.
- Most basic drill and practice functions are often described as a flashcard activity.
Using Drill and Practice Software in Teaching
- Immediate feedback
- Saving teacher time
- In place of or supplemental to worksheets and homework
- In preparation for tests
- Tutorials are used to deliver entire instructional sequences similar to a teacher’s classroom instruction.
- Courseware focuses on the acquisition stage of learning.
- Tutorials are often categorized as linear and branching (Alessi and Trollip,1991).
- A linear tutorial gives its user the same instructional sequence of explanation, practice, and feedback regardless of differences in user performance (IETIT p.89).
- Some tutorials have computer-management capabilities. Data collection and management features make tutorials more useful to teachers.
The Elements of Well-Designed Tutorial Programs
Tutorials are geared toward learners who can read fairly well and usually older students or adults.
- Extensive interactivity.
- Thorough user control.
- Appropriate and comprehensive teaching sequences.
- Adequate answer-judging and feedback capabilities.
- Tutorials (teacher-directed methods) deliver traditional instruction in skills rather than letting students create learning experiences through generative exercises and project development.
- Tutorials in Teaching:
- Self-paced reviews of instruction
- An alternative learning strategy.
- Permit instruction when teachers are unavailable.
- A simulation is a computerized model of a real or imagined system designed to teach how a certain system or a similar one works(IETIT p93).
- Simulations differ from tutorial and drill and practice activities because they provide less structured and more learner-directed activities.
Types of Simulations
- Physical simulations:
Users manipulate objects
- Process simulations:
Usually use for biological simulations
- Procedural simulations:
Used for medical or mechanical problems and flight simulators
- Situational simulations:
Hypothetical problem situations & reactions to them
Using Simulations in Teaching
- Compress time.
- Slow down processes.
- Get students involved.
- Make experimentation safe.
- Make the impossible possible.
- Save money and other resources.
- Repeat with variations.
- Make situations controllable.
- Supplement or replace lab experiments.
- Games are usually listed as a separate form of courseware because their instructional connotation to students is slightly different. (IETIT p99).
- The function of a games is to hold student’s attention or supply a reward for accomplishing other activities.
Types of Games
Instructional Game Issues
- Many educators believe that games, especially computer-based ones, are overused and misused (McGinley, 1990).
- Others believe that games convince students that they are “escaping from learning,” and games draw attention away from learning.
Problems with Games & their use in Teaching
- Other teachers worry that students can become confused about which part of the activity is the game and which part is the skill they are learning.
- Difficulty transferring skills to non-game situations.
- Teaching with Games:
- Replacement for worksheets and exercises
- Foster cooperation and group work
- As a reward
- Synonyms term for problem-solving include: critical thinking, thinking skills, higher level thinking, higher-order cognitive outcomes, reasoning, use of logic, decision making, and inference skills.
- Mayes (1992)- “ teaching-sequenced planning to solve problems to high ability learners could interfere with their own effective processing”(p101).
Six Steps to help Teachers Integrate P-S Courseware
- Identify problem-solving skills or general capabilities to build or foster:
- Solving one or more kinds of content – area problems.
- Using a scientific approach to problem solving.
- Components of problem solving.
- Decide on a series of activities that would help teach the desired skills.
- Examine courseware to locate materials that closely match the desired abilities.
- Determine where the courseware fits into the teaching sequence.
- Demonstrate the courseware and the steps to follow in solving problems.
- Build in transfer activities and make students aware of the skills they are using in the courseware (IETIT p103).
Seven Steps for Integrating Problem-Solving Courseware
- Allow students sufficient time to explore and interact with the software; provide some structure in the form of directions, goals, a work schedule, and organized times for sharing and discussing results.
- Vary the amount of direction and assistance depending on the needs of each student.
- Promote a “ reflective learning environment;” let students talk about their work and the methods they use.
- Stress thinking processes rather than correct answers.
- Point out the relationship of courseware skills and activities to other kinds of problem solving.
- Let students work together in pairs or small group.
- If assessments are done, use alternatives to traditional paper-and pencil tests (IETIT p105).
Required Instructional Design and Pedagogy
- Appropriate teaching strategy, based on best-known methods
- Presentations contains nothing that misleads or confuses students
- Comments that are not abusive or insulting
- Readability at an appropriate level for students
- Graphics that are not distracting to learners.
Required for Content
- No grammar, spelling, or punctuation errors on the screen
- Accurate, up-to date content
- No racial or gender stereotypes
- Social characteristics exhibiting sensitivity to moral values
Required for User Flexibility
- User has some control of movement within the program
- User can Can turn off sound, if desired
Required Technical Soundness
- Program loads consistently, without error
- Program does not break, no matter what the student enters
- Program does what the screen says it should do
Optional Student Use Criteria
- Student ease of use
- Required keys
- Input devices
- Supportive materials
- Optional assistance
- Optional directions
- Summary feedback
Optional Teacher Use Criteria
- Teacher’s ease of use
- Teacher manuals
- Ease of integration
- Teacher assistance
Optional Presentation Criteria
- Graphics features
- Screen layout
- Speech capabilities
- Required peripherals
Optional Technical Criteria
- Response Judging
- Technical Manuals