1. Curriculum details should consider whether:
- the program meets curriculum goals
- the software/CD-ROM package is the most appropriate way to meet these curriculum goals or is a supplementary resource
- there is potential for classroom activities to be developed from the package
- the content is appropriate
2. Learner details should consider whether:
- the resource improves students' knowledge and skills
- the learner requires prior knowledge
- the package encourages the learner to:
- solve problems
- interact with others
3. Teacher details should consider:
- whether the package enhances the teaching & learning process
- the level of preparation required to use the package effectively
- the teaching/learning styles addressed
- the usefulness for single/groups of students
- whether inter-activity, if applicable, adds value to the product/program
4. Technical details should consider whether:
- adequate help is available on screen and in the manual
- the program is easy and reliable to use
- the program is easy to learn
- the screen display is of an acceptable quality
- links between screens are logical
- the inter-activity (where applicable) adds value to the medium
Characteristics of Educational Software
1. Plain and simple interface
- Are the key screens well-designed, and can students move from one activity to another?
- Graphics are only valuable if they support the educational intent. Or else, they're a distraction.
- Most software contains far more information than a student can process.
- Make sure it's easy for the student to exit a specific task—or even the entire program—before frustration sets in.
- Drag-and-drop ability and other things that require students to do something can enhance interaction and retention of information greatly.
- Students have short attention spans and enjoy fast-paced video games and television shows.
- Slow educational software will lose them, especially for schools that do not have superfast internet connections.
- Good educational software provides some type of feedback to students and teachers that indicate a student's progress.
- This information should be in an easy-to-understand format, such as bar graphs.
- Some software packages also may return the student to information on the topic with which he is struggling
- Multimedia dictionaries and other reference materials are useful, but they are not educational by themselves.
- They must be used within a planned curriculum to achieve specific goals.
- Teachers will need to supply the interactivity to draw out the best use of these types of resources.