Instructional Software

As I mention in the video, if used correctly, instructional software has great potential in education.  In this post I will highlight some of the relative advantages I see in the five different areas of instructional software as categorized by Roblyer and Doering in Integrating Technology Into Teaching (2007).

Drill and practice Software

  • The nature of drill and practice software allows it to provide immediate feedback for students and teachers.  Students can use this to adjust their learning and note areas of trouble, and teachers can use it to evaluate instruction.
  • Drill and practice software saves teachers time on grading traditional paper-pencil homework, tests, and quizzes.

Tutorial Software

  • This also provides immediate feedback to students.  Depending on the features of the software, teachers may not get as frequent of feedback as with drill and practice.
  • Tutorial software allows students to move at their own pace with lessons and practice.  Some tutorial software even levels lessons and questioning depending on how well the student is performing.

Simulation Software

  • Simulation software offers a more cost effective way of performing experiments such as dissections.
  • It is more time-efficient than actual studies. (Ex. Students can experiment with genetics without having to wait for entire reproduction and growth cycles.)
  • Simulation software also gives students “hands-on” experience.  They can see how their choices or decision directly impact the result.

Instructional Games

  • Instructional games use media that many students are already familiar with to increase their motivation.
  • As with video games they play at home, students are willing to give more time and attention to challenging and complex instructional games.

Problem-Solving Software

  • The challenge posed in problem-solving software increases students attention and motivation to solve the problem and reach the goal.
  • Software gives students the opportunity to practice problem-solving skills and test their solutions without the fear of failing.

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