Wednesday, August 12, 2009

11 august

evaluating a software/courseware. it is important for teacher to eavluate a software/courseware before using it in classroom. is it practical enough to be used? is the content relevant and aligned with the curriculum and syllabus? here are some of the criteria that a teacher should look for in choosing the correct software/courseware

Software criteria
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:
- think
- question
- research
- 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?
2. Meaningful, but not fancy, graphics
  • Graphics are only valuable if they support the educational intent. Or else, they're a distraction.
3. Easy exits
  • 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.
4. Intelligent interactivity
  • Drag-and-drop ability and other things that require students to do something can enhance interaction and retention of information greatly.
5. Speed
  • 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.
6. Feedback loops
  • 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
7. Information vs. instruction
  • 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.

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