Computer Science and Educational Software Design: A Resource for Multidisciplinary Work in Technology Enhanced Learning
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Developing educational software requires thinking, problematizing, representing, modeling, implementing and analyzing pedagogical objectives and issues, as well as conceptual models and software architectures. Computer scientists face the difficulty of understanding the particular issues and phenomena to be taken into account in educational software projects and of avoiding a naïve technocentered perspective. On the other hand, actors with backgrounds in human or social sciences face the difficulty of understanding software design and implementation issues, and how computer scientists engage in these tasks.
Tchounikine argues that these difficulties cannot be solved by building a kind of “general theory” or “general engineering methodology” to be adopted by all actors for all projects: educational software projects may correspond to very different realities, and may be conducted within very different perspectives and with very different matters of concern. Thus the issue of understanding each others’ perspectives and elaborating some common ground is to be considered in context, within the considered project or perspective. To this end, he provides the reader with a framework and means for actively taking into account the relationships between pedagogical settings and software, and for working together in a multidisciplinary way to develop educational software.
His book is for actors engaged in research or development projects which require inventing, designing, adapting, implementing or analyzing educational software. The core audience is Master’s and PhD students, researchers and engineers from computer science or human and social sciences (e.g., education, psychology, pedagogy, philosophy, communications or sociology) interested in the issues raised by educational software design and analysis and in the variety of perspectives that may be adopted.
educational software (as a notion) is to be considered. For instance, in some countries or cultures, it is accepted that the institution decides how pedagogical settings should be organized and managed by teachers in their classrooms. Differently, in other countries or cultures, teachers have more flexibility and, for instance, the fact that teachers may be reluctant to use some software that is not perfectly in line with their usual teaching should be taken into account. In such a context,
dimension of Scen-play’s SPR. If one considers the impact notion, Scen-play’s impact may be regarded in different ways. From a general perspective, it allows teachers to build explicit scenarios and provide learners with active settings rather than spoon-feeding settings. From a more precise teachers’ perspective, the notions it introduces and tools it offers may impact teachers’ conceptualization of the notion of scenario and/or of their elaboration processes. From a more precise learners’
considered, TEL is to be addressed within different 2 In recent years, the term Computer Science has in some places been supplanted by the term Informatics, a term giving more importance to the human and social aspect of computer systems design, usage and evaluation. However, we will stick to the term Computer Science, which is widely accepted (the term Informatics is subject to different interpretations whose discussion is not a matter of concern in this book). In this book, Computer Science
justifications. The objective here is to show how such an application draws attention to different features. The text is re-engineered and not structured sub-item by sub-item in order to be kept more fluid. 144 4.1 7 Characterizing the Design Context and the Software Artifact GeLMS-4, the Generic Learning Management System GeLMS is a development project. The raison d’eˆtre of the targeted system is to be used in effective settings. Within this project, there is no reference to any
considerations). However, in this case, the major role of the software, which is its raison d’eˆtre and will guide design, is that software is supposed to act as an epistemic milieu that allows achievement of the task in a way that will influence learners’ activity and learning outcomes: the nature of the learners’ expected processes and the way in which the software may lead learners to conceptualize the setting and achieve the proposed task are carefully studied so as to suggest, scaffold and