EVALUATING CALL SOFTWARE/COURSEWARE TSL 641: CALL
GENERAL GUIDE <ul><li>An eight-step process : </li></ul><ul><li>Know the specific needs of your population </li></ul><ul><...
Specific Software Needs <ul><li>It is wise to know the needs of your classroom </li></ul><ul><li>What are the grade and ab...
LOCATING SOFTWARE <ul><li>Software House catalogs </li></ul><ul><li>Book suppliers </li></ul><ul><li>Internet </li></ul><u...
HARDWARE COMPATIBILITY <ul><li>Ask the following questions : </li></ul><ul><li>Do the computers at the school have enough ...
PROGRAM CONTENT <ul><li>Ask these questions : </li></ul><ul><li>What are the objectives of this program? </li></ul><ul><li...
PROGRAM CONTENT – cont.  <ul><li>Is the vocabulary appropriate for the grade level? </li></ul><ul><li>How accurate is the ...
INSTRUCTIONAL DESIGN <ul><li>Many important factors relate to program design: </li></ul><ul><li>Learner control </li></ul>...
ID – LEARNER CONTROL <ul><li>Learner Control  </li></ul><ul><li>Who controls the program? The student or the computer? </l...
ID – Reinforcement & Sequencing <ul><li>Reinforcement </li></ul><ul><li>How are the student reinforced? </li></ul><ul><li>...
ID - Flexibility <ul><li>Flexibility </li></ul><ul><li>You should be able to adapt the program to small and large groups. ...
ID - Appearance <ul><li>Appearance </li></ul><ul><li>Does the program have colorful graphics, animation, and sound? </li><...
EASE OF USE <ul><li>Is the program easy to learn? </li></ul><ul><li>Can the student immediately load the program and use i...
EASE OF USE – cont.  <ul><li>Does the program have error messages so that the student can correct problems?  </li></ul><ul...
CONSUMER VALUE <ul><li>Cost? How much? </li></ul><ul><li>Are the features found in an expensive software worth it? </li></ul>
SUPPORT <ul><li>How is the technical support? </li></ul><ul><li>Can you call somebody immediately to get help or must you ...
SUMMARY <ul><li>Is the program based on sound educational theory and  methodology? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Software must be ...
SUMMARY – cont.  <ul><li>Does the program manage to keep the student’s attention? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Students must feel...
SUMMARY – cont.  <ul><li>Does the program allow students or teachers to control the lesson? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pace. </...
SUMMARY – cont.  <ul><li>Does the program include helpful auxiliary material? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Workbooks </li></ul></...
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Evaluating Call Software

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TSL 641

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Evaluating Call Software

  1. 1. EVALUATING CALL SOFTWARE/COURSEWARE TSL 641: CALL
  2. 2. GENERAL GUIDE <ul><li>An eight-step process : </li></ul><ul><li>Know the specific needs of your population </li></ul><ul><li>Locate the software </li></ul><ul><li>Research hardware compatibility </li></ul><ul><li>Examine the program’s content </li></ul><ul><li>Look at instructional design </li></ul><ul><li>Checkout how easy the program is to learn </li></ul><ul><li>Evaluate the program in terms of consumer value </li></ul><ul><li>Investigate the technical support and cost </li></ul>
  3. 3. Specific Software Needs <ul><li>It is wise to know the needs of your classroom </li></ul><ul><li>What are the grade and ability levels? </li></ul><ul><li>For what purpose will the software be used? </li></ul><ul><li>Drill and practice? </li></ul><ul><li>How sophisticated should the software be? </li></ul><ul><li>Simple? Heavy duty? </li></ul>
  4. 4. LOCATING SOFTWARE <ul><li>Software House catalogs </li></ul><ul><li>Book suppliers </li></ul><ul><li>Internet </li></ul><ul><li>Journals </li></ul><ul><li>Educational organizations </li></ul><ul><li>Magazines </li></ul>
  5. 5. HARDWARE COMPATIBILITY <ul><li>Ask the following questions : </li></ul><ul><li>Do the computers at the school have enough memory to run this program? </li></ul><ul><li>How many disk drives does each machine have and what size are they? </li></ul><ul><li>How fast is the CD-Rom drive? </li></ul><ul><li>Does the software program need more RAM to run faster and more efficiently? </li></ul><ul><li>What equipment is necessary? </li></ul><ul><li>Does the program require a mouse, joystick, or a color monitor? </li></ul><ul><li>What type of printer does the program support? </li></ul>
  6. 6. PROGRAM CONTENT <ul><li>Ask these questions : </li></ul><ul><li>What are the objectives of this program? </li></ul><ul><li>Are the objectives clearly stated? </li></ul><ul><li>How appropriate is the program for the students? </li></ul><ul><li>What knowledge or skills must a student possess to utilize this software? </li></ul><ul><li>Are the graphics and the skills required reasonable for this grade level? </li></ul>
  7. 7. PROGRAM CONTENT – cont. <ul><li>Is the vocabulary appropriate for the grade level? </li></ul><ul><li>How accurate is the material presented in the program? </li></ul><ul><li>Is the program free of unnecessary computer jargon and are the spelling and grammar correct? </li></ul><ul><li>How much time is needed to run the program? </li></ul><ul><li>Is the program free from prejudices or stereotypes? </li></ul><ul><li>Is the program violent in nature? </li></ul>
  8. 8. INSTRUCTIONAL DESIGN <ul><li>Many important factors relate to program design: </li></ul><ul><li>Learner control </li></ul><ul><li>Reinforcement </li></ul><ul><li>Sequencing </li></ul><ul><li>Flexibility </li></ul><ul><li>Appearance </li></ul>
  9. 9. ID – LEARNER CONTROL <ul><li>Learner Control </li></ul><ul><li>Who controls the program? The student or the computer? </li></ul><ul><li>Can the student move back and forth in the lesson easily? </li></ul><ul><li>Can the student quickly return to previous frame? </li></ul><ul><li>Can the student escape to the menu whenever he or she wants? </li></ul><ul><li>Can the student control the speed of the program? </li></ul><ul><li>Does the program move the academically bright students forward to more difficult problems, or is the level of difficulty the same? </li></ul><ul><li>How easy is it for the student to exit the program or to restart the activity? </li></ul>
  10. 10. ID – Reinforcement & Sequencing <ul><li>Reinforcement </li></ul><ul><li>How are the student reinforced? </li></ul><ul><li>Does the program vary the reinforcement? </li></ul><ul><li>Is the feedback active (animation), passive ( wrong ) or interactive (game)? </li></ul><ul><li>Sequencing </li></ul><ul><li>Is the instructional sequence appropriate? </li></ul><ul><li>Does it start from a simple idea to the complex? </li></ul>
  11. 11. ID - Flexibility <ul><li>Flexibility </li></ul><ul><li>You should be able to adapt the program to small and large groups. </li></ul><ul><li>You should be able to modify the program to meet the individual needs of the students in the classroom. </li></ul><ul><li>Does the program provide a record of the student’s progress? </li></ul>
  12. 12. ID - Appearance <ul><li>Appearance </li></ul><ul><li>Does the program have colorful graphics, animation, and sound? </li></ul><ul><li>Does the sound motivate the students or does it interfere with their learning? </li></ul><ul><li>Are the graphics distracting or helpful? </li></ul><ul><li>How is the screen laid out? </li></ul><ul><li>Is it crowded or well organized? </li></ul><ul><li>Are there too many instructions on the screen? </li></ul>
  13. 13. EASE OF USE <ul><li>Is the program easy to learn? </li></ul><ul><li>Can the student immediately load the program and use it? </li></ul><ul><li>Does the program use simple English commands? </li></ul><ul><li>Can the student access a help screen whenever it is needed? </li></ul><ul><li>Does a tutorial disk or manual take user through the program? </li></ul><ul><li>What happens when a student hits a wrong key? </li></ul>
  14. 14. EASE OF USE – cont. <ul><li>Does the program have error messages so that the student can correct problems? </li></ul><ul><li>Are the directions clear and concise? </li></ul><ul><li>Are the instructions brief to the point? </li></ul><ul><li>Can the student follow the directions on the screen without going to the documentation that accompanies the software? </li></ul>
  15. 15. CONSUMER VALUE <ul><li>Cost? How much? </li></ul><ul><li>Are the features found in an expensive software worth it? </li></ul>
  16. 16. SUPPORT <ul><li>How is the technical support? </li></ul><ul><li>Can you call somebody immediately to get help or must you wait forever on the telephone? </li></ul><ul><li>Is there tutorial with the software package? </li></ul><ul><li>Is the publisher reputable? </li></ul><ul><li>Is the telephone call toll free? </li></ul><ul><li>Does the company charge for the support? </li></ul><ul><li>Is the tutorial on a disk or in a book form? </li></ul><ul><li>Is the manual readable, with activities and lesson plan? </li></ul><ul><li>Will the publisher replace a defective disk? </li></ul>
  17. 17. SUMMARY <ul><li>Is the program based on sound educational theory and methodology? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Software must be compatible with teacher’s educational philosophy and style. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Is the program based on accurate content? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Software has no value if content is inaccurate. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Does the program show discrimination on the basis of sex, race, and so on? </li></ul><ul><li>Does the program assume that students are experienced computer users? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>If so, new users may become frustrated . </li></ul></ul>
  18. 18. SUMMARY – cont. <ul><li>Does the program manage to keep the student’s attention? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Students must feel motivated and involved in the program. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Software that allows competition, presents interesting stories, games, or permits more than one student to participate at a time is more attractive. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Does the program give appropriate responses to the student for correct and incorrect answer? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Correct answers should be rewarded. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Incorrect answers should prompt the software to provide help instead of criticism. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Responses to correct answers must be more attractive than to incorrect answers. </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. SUMMARY – cont. <ul><li>Does the program allow students or teachers to control the lesson? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Pace. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Difficulty. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Movement. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Is the program based on clearly stated and educationally sound objectives? </li></ul><ul><li>Does the program allow the students to work independently? </li></ul><ul><li>Is the program flexible? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Allows changes to be made. </li></ul></ul>
  20. 20. SUMMARY – cont. <ul><li>Does the program include helpful auxiliary material? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Workbooks </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Charts </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Tests </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lesson plans </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Follow-up activities </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Does the program include a good management system? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reports </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Progress </li></ul></ul>

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