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ERIC Number: EJ848455
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Nov
Pages: 14
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 35
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1683-1381
Designing an Agent-Based Learning Environment--A Preliminary Study on a Pre-Service Teacher Course
Woo, Huay Lit; Wang, Qiyun
New Horizons in Education, n52 p39-52 Nov 2005
Background: Many of the agent-based products available to education today have been largely confined to games and instructional media that are often produced commercially by non-instructional professionals. Most of them lack customizability and are difficult to integrate into individual subject curriculum. With more agent authoring tools available and the proliferation of client-end computing, classroom teachers can now author their own agents pedagogically to produce learning environments that meet their predetermined objectives. Aims: To experiment the use of agent technology with a class of pre-service teachers (aka trainee teachers). It hopes to achieve two objectives: (1) to understand how well the agent technology is accepted by the trainee teachers, and (2) to reveal any difficulty in designing the agent-based learning environment. Sample: 16 pre-service teachers took part in this study. All of them were trainees from an educational technology module that had a main component in designing learning environment. They were second year students doing a Diploma-in-Education course in their own field of specialization. Method: Pre-service teachers were to design agent-based learning environments on their own. A questionnaire was used to obtain summative assessment from the participants at the end of the course. The score from the questionnaire was used to gauge the trainee teachers' acceptance for their learning experience. Trainee teachers' weekly self-reporting Weblog was used as a formative assessment on their learning processes and difficulties. Results: This study found that agent technology was well received by the trainee teachers albeit concerns for support by schools and the need to learn programming skills. Generally, trainee teachers were enthused by the use of scenes to support their lessons. They regarded their learning experience as positive and meaningful. They also believed that such technology would be helpful in promoting interest in their classroom teaching. Conclusion/Recommendations: Based on the results, agent-based technology is recognized as a useful tool to support classroom learning. This study recommends two measures: (1) to build a repertoire of customizable scene templates focusing on very small and specific content areas, (2) to organize optional basic agent scripting training program prior to the commencement of the course for those who are weak at programming skills. (Contains 2 figures and 8 tables.)
Hong Kong Teachers' Association. 242 Nathan Road, National Court 7/F, Kowloon, Hong Kong. Tel: +852-2367-3420; Fax: +852-2722-4813; e-mail: hkta1934@yahoo.com.hk; Web site: http://www.cpe.ied.edu.hk/newhorizon
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Singapore