ERIC Number: ED261648
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1985-Jan
Reference Count: N/A
Microworlds and Expert Systems: Is It Either or Can It Be Both? Report of a Conference Sponsored by the Educational Technology Center (Cambridge, Massachusetts, January 11-12, 1985).
McDonald, Joseph P.
This report summarizes the proceedings of a conference held at the Harvard Graduate School of Education which focused on the conceptual distinction between microworld software and expert system software in education. Microworld software is defined as software which lacks a specific teaching and learning agenda, and expert systems as software that comes with built-in knowledge of a domain and a built-in plan of instruction in that domain. To assist program presenters in examining the design polarities implied in the two systems, two pairs of educational software systems (carefully chosen to illustrate the polarity) were displayed and discussed. These systems--The LISP Tutor and Geometric Supposer on the one hand and The Writer's Workbench and Quill on the other, provided the basis for subsequent presentations and panel discussion. Presenters noted specific design and utilization differences between Geometric Supporter and LISP tutor: the former is a tool which students may use in an exploratory fashion and the latter makes inferences about a user's intentions at each step of a guided path. Workbench differs from Quill in that that the former, with its original design as an editing tool with explicit technical analysis, precludes its judging the writing product itself, while the latter is designed to help generate writing materials and facilitate writing between student and teacher, or among students. A more in-depth presentation of each of the four systems, along with the presenter's comments on its use and applications, follows the initial comparison of the systems, and closing remarks suggest that the concepts of both types of system should be utilized in an educational environment. (JB)
Publication Type: Collected Works - Proceedings; Opinion Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: Educational Technology Center, Cambridge, MA.
Authoring Institution: N/A