Software for managing complex learning: Examples from an educational psychology course

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Abstract

Inquiry-based instruction including problem-, project-, and case-based methods often incorporate complex sets of learning activities. The numerous activities run the risk of becoming disconnected in the minds of learners and teachers. STAR.Legacy is a software shell that can help designers organize learning activities into an inquiry cycle that is easy to understand and pedagogically sound. To ensure that classroom teachers can adapt the inquiry activities according to their local resources and needs, STAR.Legacy was built upon four types of design principles: learner centered, knowledge centered, assessment centered, and community centered. We describe how a STAR.Legacy constructed for an educational psychology course helped preservice teachers design and learn about effective inquiry-based instruction.

This work was supported by grant #R305F60090 from the Department of Education. The authors thank the educational psychology students for their contributions to this paper and Amy Ryce for her editorial talents.