IDEA: Identifying design principles in educational applets

  • Jody S. Underwood
  • Christopher Hoadley
  • Hollylynne Stohl Lee
  • Karen Hollebrands
  • Chris DiGiano
  • K. Ann Renninger
Development

Abstract

The Internet is increasingly being used as a medium for educational software in the form of miniature applications (e.g., applets) to explore concepts in a domain. One such effort in mathematics education, the Educational Software Components of Tomorrow (ESCOT) project, created 42 miniature applications each consisting of a context, a set of questions, and one or more interactive applets to help students explore a mathematical concept. They were designed by experts in interface design, educational technology, and classroom teaching. However, some applications were more successful for fostering student problem-solving than others. This article describes the method used to mine a subset (25) of these applets for design principles that describe successful learner-centered design by drawing on such data as videos of students using the software and summaries of written student work. Twenty-one design principles were identified, falling into the categories of motivation, presentation, and support for problem solving. The main purpose of this article is to operationalize a method for post hoc extraction of design principles from an existing library of educational software, although readers may also find the design principles themselves to be useful.

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Copyright information

© Association for Educational Communications and Technology 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jody S. Underwood
    • 1
  • Christopher Hoadley
    • 2
  • Hollylynne Stohl Lee
    • 3
  • Karen Hollebrands
    • 3
  • Chris DiGiano
    • 4
  • K. Ann Renninger
    • 5
  1. 1.Educational Testing ServicePrinceton
  2. 2.College of Education & School of Information Sciences and TechnologyPenn State UniversityUSA
  3. 3.Department of Mathematics EducationNorth Carolina State UniversityUSA
  4. 4.Center for Technology in LearningSRI InternationalUSA
  5. 5.Swarthmore CollegeUSA

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