ERIC Number: ED312994
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1988-Jul
Reference Count: N/A
Using MITSI as a KBS Tool for Learning.
Cumming, Geoff; Abbott, Elizabeth
Students aged 10 to 17 years in a primary school and a secondary school in an industrial suburb of Melbourne, Australia, were observed as they worked at activities in both curriculum and non-curriculum areas using MITSI, a computer program, as a KBS (knowledge-based system) tool. Evaluations of the students' general abilities, computer abilities, and opinions and attitudes led to the conclusion that well-designed activities based on MITSI are very well received by learners and teachers, and can produce valuable learning outcomes. Vital considerations in planning to use MITSI are the characteristics of the system, the selection and design of learning activities, and the emphasis that is placed on general cognitive abilities. The key to good activities is the discussion and thinking they can spark, and this depends as much on the way they are presented and supported in the classroom as on the details of the computing. MITSI is a good tool for a broad range of information-handling activities, including using or building databases, exploring and expressing simple logical relationships among items, and organizing a body of knowledge and expressing it in a systematic and rule-bound way. Experience shows that it is more effective to allow beginning students to explore pre-written programs before extending them or building their own; the transition to writing programs and writing rules should be gradual. Structured worksheets that permit students to work at their own pace can free the teacher to provide individual assistance to those with special problems, and a wide range of activities add interest, allow users to explore MITSI more fully, and promote a richer range of general skills. Things to watch for include finding enough time, individual differences among students, being sure the computer is the best way to meet a particular educational goal, integrating computer work, looking for computer spin-offs, and being wary of sex-role stereotypes. (7 references) (MES)
Publication Type: Reports - Descriptive; Speeches/Meeting Papers; Guides - Non-Classroom
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the International Conference of the Prolog Education Group (Copenhagen, Denmark, July 6-8, 1988).