Instructional Science

, Volume 25, Issue 2, pp 151–166 | Cite as

An ecological approach to the on-line assessment of problem-solving paths: Principles and applications

  • ROBERT E. SHAW
  • JUDITH A. EFFKEN
  • BRETT R. FAJEN
  • STEVEN R. GARRETT
  • ANTHONY MORRIS
Article

Abstract

In this paper, we propose a theoretical framework for designing on-line situated assessment tools for multimedia instructional systems. Based on an ecological psychology approach to situated learning, a graph theoretic methodology is applied to monitor students' performance (solution paths) throughout the learning activity. Deviation of the student's path from the target (expert) path generates indicators which can function as alerts to the student and to the instructor. The information collected in the dribble files and presented visually enables the instructor to identify problems quickly and intervene appropriately. The feasibility of the methodology is explored in case studies describing three instructional systems that teach (1) critical thinking and problem-solving skills, (2) principles of hemodynamic monitoring and treatment, and (3) orthodontic treatment, respectively.

assessment problem solving interface design ecological psychology hypermedia 

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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • ROBERT E. SHAW
    • 1
  • JUDITH A. EFFKEN
    • 2
  • BRETT R. FAJEN
    • 1
  • STEVEN R. GARRETT
    • 1
  • ANTHONY MORRIS
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of ConnecticutUSA
  2. 2.University of ArizonaTucsonUSA

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