ERIC Number: ED310037
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988-Apr-9
Reference Count: N/A
Avoiding Pedagogically Naive "Captive" Software.
Walbert, Mark S.
An increasing number of non-statistical software packages are being written as supplementary instructional materials provided free or at low cost for economics principles textbooks. This paper reviews the software programs currently available as ancillary material to several major texts and compares what is available as a group against what should be available if the goal is to use the microcomputer as an effective instructional tool. Much of the current crop of software does not effectively use the computer to instruct the student in a way only the computer can. Instead, much of the software that is written is largely an electronic version of the familiar student workbook. Often this places the student in the role of an electronic page turner. To remedy this shortfall, 14 specific modifications to the software designs are recommended including the following: (1) the software package should consist of menu-driven tutorials and drills such as model simulations, an electronic sketchpad, and a database spreadsheet; (2) the tutorial program should take the form of a dialog, in the Socratic sense; (3) questions in the drill portion of the package should automatically increase in difficulty so the student remains challenged by the questions; and (4) programs should not stand alone, but should be complemented with a brief student guide showing the student how to sign on, manipulate the cursor, and get help, as well as state the explicit instructional objectives for each of the programs in the package. (Author/PPB)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Midwest Economics Association Conference (Chicago, IL, April 7-9, 1988).