June 15, 1997
June 15, 1997
June 18, 1997
2.287.1 - 2.287.10
Math, Electronics, Tutorials, Testing, Distance Learning and the Web
Richard Parker, Walter W. Buchanan Interactive Image Technologies/Oregon Institute of Technology
Many instructors are designing courses of study based on the exciting software simulators for electronics and math that have migrated to the PC in the last decade. In a flurry of development, electronics instructors have designed materials suitable for their classes and math instructors have made a similar effort. The time is ripe for an integration of overall methodology that smoothly weaves all the curriculum threads together. The new technology demands a new way of doing things. It is not enough to simply use the new technology on old problems. Instead, we need to take advantage of the power of the simulators to enrich the learning environment of our students.
Some non-admirers of a too hasty adoption of the ‘technical fix’ will no doubt be thinking that this vision of enrichment is an admirable goal. However, in attempting to envision how this more demanding course of study could be implemented, these instructors look at the makeup of their current classes, with the ever increasing range of learner abilities and preparedness for the actual grade level and despair. This problem has confronted all of us and has caused a great deal of frustration. Most of our colleagues have made similar observations about the mix of skill sets in the makeup of the class.
The solution, we propose, lies in the direction of a gradual replacement of static print materials, like textbooks, with electronic hypertext documents. It is true that hyperlinks contain text, so learners of the future still need to be able to read at an acceptable level. However, the power of the hyperlink can go a long way in rectifying a major roadblock, i.e., the inhomogeneity of background in the modern day classroom. It is common to ask the members of a class if they have taken some topic that was on the prerequisite list and find that a significant proportion disclaim any previous exposure to that topic. One usually finds that almost every prerequisite has been studied by someone in the class, but that it is a different someone depending on the topic at hand.
How can hypertext help? Hypertext can relieve the instructor of the burden of thinking, “What do I do now? How can I fill in the particular gap this student has when I know that it is ineffective to take up class time explaining it to one individual?” Given hypertext study material, the student can jump to a simpler lesson in which the unrecognized concept is defined, explained, drilled and tested. At the other end, students wishing a more challenging lesson can follow a hyperlink to advanced problems and their solution.
The whole idea is one of integration, but integration in a hierarchical way. The tools and the platforms exist. The personal computer that most instructors have has enough hard disk to store
Parker, R., & Buchanan, W. (1997, June), Math, Electronics, Tutorials, Testing, Distance Learning And The Web Paper presented at 1997 Annual Conference, Milwaukee, Wisconsin. https://peer.asee.org/6681
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