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LCD: a learner centered approach to developing educational software

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3 Author(s)
Guzdial, M. ; Coll. of Comput., Georgia Inst. of Technol., Atlanta, GA, USA ; McCracken, M. ; Elliott, A.

Summary form only given. Designing educational software for undergraduate engineering students is a difficult and complex task. Traditional software development methodologies are “user centered”, focused on optimizing performance or facilitating the accomplishment of a task, and thus do not address all of the intricacies involved. Thus we propose the development of a “learner centered” design methodology to specifically address these educational needs. We define learner centered design (LCD) as a design process where the primary use of the artifact generated during the design process is for learning, rather than performance. However this does not preclude the fact that improved task performance may be a desired side-effect. In addition we claim the best examples of learner centered designs will be anchored in a theory of learning, that is an understanding of who the targeted learners are and what their needs are. While many developers have produced quality educational software that arguably meets our definition and understanding of LCD, a clear methodology seems to be lacking. Our observations show that the success of these designs, and the resulting products, are more closely related to the astute intuitions of the developers rather than on their adherence to a good methodology. We are beginning our work in the development of such a methodology by identifying and then analyzing the issues that must be addressed when developing software specifically designed to support learning

Published in:

Frontiers in Education Conference, 1997. 27th Annual Conference. Teaching and Learning in an Era of Change. Proceedings.  (Volume:2 )

Date of Conference:

5-8 Nov 1997