An authoring and presentation environment for interactive worked examples

Song, Yulun (2015) An authoring and presentation environment for interactive worked examples. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Abstract

This dissertation describes an authoring environment, called IWE, which allows a teacher to develop computer-based interactive worked examples without bespoke programming. The focus is on worked examples that involve transforming one representation into another using judgments not algorithms or rules. The worked examples created are all drawn from Computing Science; for example, transforming a requirements specification into an entity-relationship diagram. Teachers model the problem-solving process as a sequence of steps demonstrating how the problem is translated step-by-step into a solution, explaining the decision-making in each step. They can incorporate questions within the examples to increase student engagement and encourage students to do active thinking. Students interact with the transformation process at their own pace to obtain experience of problem-solving. Teachers are able to evolve the examples based on feedback from students and usage data from the system. A review of educational literature identified the best practice guidelines for designing and presenting effective worked examples for novices and faded worked examples for intermediate learners. These guidelines informed the essential requirements of IWE. A prototype authoring environment was designed, implemented and evaluated. Educational literature also recommends using worked examples combined with practice of problem solving. A field study was conducted applying these recommendations to evaluate the usability of IWE. Evaluations were carried out with teachers to assess their ability to create and modify interactive worked examples while the teaching of their courses was in progress. Evaluations were also carried out with students to assess the usability of IWE. The main conclusion of this research, based on analysis of the evaluations, is that the prototype of IWE is useable by both teachers and students. It allows teachers to create interactive worked examples following best practice and evolve existing examples on the basis of feedback. It allows students to use interactive worked examples independently following best practice. Finally, the dissertation identifies some possibilities for widening the scope of this research.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Computing Education, Authoring environment, Interactive Worked Example, Faded Worked Example, Software Engineering, Transformation-based Problem
Subjects: Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA75 Electronic computers. Computer science
Q Science > QA Mathematics > QA76 Computer software
Colleges/Schools: College of Science and Engineering > School of Computing Science
Funder's Name: UNSPECIFIED
Supervisor's Name: Cutts, Prof. Quintin and Purchase, Dr. Helen and Welland, Prof. Ray and Cooper, Dr. Richard
Date of Award: 2015
Depositing User: Dr. YULUN SONG
Unique ID: glathesis:2015-6152
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 27 Feb 2015 10:23
Last Modified: 06 Mar 2015 09:04
URI: http://theses.gla.ac.uk/id/eprint/6152

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