AN EXAMPLE OF TEACHING EDUCATIONAL SOFTWARE DESIGN AND DEVELOPMENT
Sofia University "St. Kliment Ohridski" (BULGARIA)
About this paper:
Appears in: ICERI2015 Proceedings
Publication year: 2015
Conference name: 8th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 18-20 November, 2015
Location: Seville, Spain
Abstract:The paper presents experience in teaching Educational Software Design and Development (ESDD) for students at the Faculty of Mathematics and Informatics (FMI) of Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski” (SU), following a designed model for ESDD. The model is used in the elective course “Design, Development and Evaluation of Educational Software”, taught to students in Computer Science BSc programmes.
To design and develop educational software students should understand both software and educational design. It is a challenge to train software specialists with no background in educational science to apply learning design in ESDD. To address the learners’ needs we need a teaching methods that combine elements from both educational design, and software design and development. For this purpose we use the developed ESDD model.
The paper describes in brief the ESDD model applied in teaching, but the focus is on the stages through which students pass, following the model, and the results that they have to produce.
Following the stages of the ESDD model, the paper focuses on three main aspects – the teaching and learning strategy, the activities and assignments that students have to perform at the different stages, and results that they have to produce.
The teaching and learning strategy envisages grouping students to work in teams – an important practice in software development. At the end of the course each team has to produce a working software prototype that solves a particular learning problem. At each stage of the applied model students learn what it includes and how to apply the knowledge of this stage in ESDD. They have to perform different individual and team activities and assignments. The goals are to practice teamwork and to precisely assess each student’s contribution to the teamwork. For each assignment students receive immediate feedback for improvement. The result of each assignment is a part of the developed final product.
The ESDD model has two main phases Analysis and Design & Development. As a result of first phase students have to identify the learning problem that their software should solve, to describe its learning goals and objectives and on base of this to define software content and requirements. They have to describe all this in a text document which will be a part of the software documentation.
The second phase is related to software design and development where the students have to define software functionalities, create the interface design, and develop software prototype. They have to produce a storyboarding of the software, which presents the different screens of the software and relations between them; the different elements on each screen and their place, appearance, function, relations with, and dependence on, other elements. Base on the storyboarding students have to produce a prototype of their educational software.
The paper presents as examples students’ projects developed in the course. A very important part of teaching and learning strategy is that the result of each assignment in course is a part of the developed final product, and actually students start to develop their educational software prototype from the outset of the course. Another big advantage is that they go through the whole process of ESDD model and learn the specifics of each stage. That is why it is important to build the course upon a structured model.
Keywords: Educational software, teaching, educational software design and development, design model, higher education course.