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Developing Effective K 5 Mathematics Educational Software

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2005 Annual Conference


Portland, Oregon

Publication Date

June 12, 2005

Start Date

June 12, 2005

End Date

June 15, 2005



Conference Session

Computing Tools for Engineering Education

Page Count


Page Numbers

10.440.1 - 10.440.20



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Paper Authors

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Theodor Richardson

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Jed Lyons

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Developing Effective K-5 Mathematics Educational Software Theodor D Richardson, Jed S Lyons University of South Carolina Columbia, SC 29208


This paper presents a software engineering pilot study on the construction and use of educational software for the K-5 classroom environment. The goal of this study is to use the software engineering life cycle to guide the development of mathematics skills practice software with the intent to produce (1) a reusable template for producing meaningful and effective educational software as well as (2) a retrospective analysis tool to help guide future software development for better technology incorporation in the classroom. As part of the development process, the principal customer stakeholders, specifically administrators and teachers, are interviewed to assist in the gathering of requirements for the software as well as guide the choice of software architecture. For the purposes of presenting a complete evaluation of whether the resultant software is successful, a preliminary set of elementary classrooms is chosen as the beta testing group, spanning dramatically different demographics within a local school district. Student interaction with the software for each group is tracked and observed to assess the value of adding the software to the classroom and determining the effectiveness of the time devoted to the technology. This paper will present and discuss the complete decision process of creating the software as well as a thorough analysis of the success or failure in meeting the gathered requirements and evaluating the student testing. The information gathered in this study is used to create a reusable template for educational software engineering and evaluation that can be applied to software specific to the elementary classroom environment.

1. Introduction

A growing area of focus for teachers in all fields and at all educational levels is the incorporation of technology into classroom instruction. Though educational software is available, its use and incorporation into the classroom is not always guaranteed or successful. In experiences with various teachers in the classroom environment of K-12 education, it has been observed that the students and teachers could benefit from technology incorporation; those teachers willing to try proper software have experienced an increase in comfort with technology and an improvement of their students' skills understanding. The goal of this study was to apply the principals of software engineering to the creation of elementary school math software. A retrospective analysis is conducted to provide guidelines for making future software more meaningful and effective. The ideal result of this process would produce not only the software but a detailed analysis of the requirements necessary for other such software to be implemented and analyzed effectively.

The three main levels on which elementary classroom software must operate are as follows: the administrative level, the classroom level, and the student level. Administration is often Proceedings of the 2005 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2005, American Society for Engineering Education

Richardson, T., & Lyons, J. (2005, June), Developing Effective K 5 Mathematics Educational Software Paper presented at 2005 Annual Conference, Portland, Oregon. 10.18260/1-2--15127

ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2005 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015