Mucho Math Hundred Chart Program

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Mucho Math Hundred Chart Program Powered By Docstoc
					                         Designed by:
                         Cindy Calmese
                          Jake Enfield
                         Monica Llamas
                         CSUF- Spring

             Mucho Math
EDEL 518B-Dr. A. Brown

            Hundred’s Chart

                                              Designed by:
                                              Cindy Calmese
                                               Jake Enfield
                                              Monica Llamas
                                           CSUF- Spring 2006
                                         EDEL 518B-Dr. A. Brown
                                  Table of Contents

Part 1: Pre-production (Planning and Design)
   1. Description of Learners.............................................. 3-4
   2. Purpose of the Hundred’s Chart Program (HCP) ...... 4-5
   3. Theoretical Foundations............................................. 5-6
   4. Objectives ......................................................................6
   5. Assessment of Learners ............................................. 6-7
   6. Instructional Design ................................................. 7-11
   7. HCP Design Documents - Look and Feel.............. 11-14
   8. Administrative Documents .................................... 14-19
Part 2: Production
   9. Computer Requirements ..............................................20
   10. Script/Text and Graphics/Animation ..................... 21-25
   11. Program Code and Audio.............................................26
   12. Alpha-testing results, reflections, and revisions .... 27-28
   13. Beta-testing results, reflections, and revisions....... 28-32
Part 3: Post-production
   14. Support/Supplementary Materials ......................... 32-34
   15. Version 2.0............................................................. 35-36
   16. Team Evaluation Form ................................................37
   17. Appendices............................................................. 38-49


Description of Learners:

Target Population

   The Mucho Math Hundreds Charts Program was developed for a seventh-grade math class of 12 to

13 year-old ELD level 1 students, whose home language is Spanish. For some of the students in this

target population, this is their first experience in a classroom in the states. Outside of this math class, the

rest of their school day is spent in double Language Arts classes, P.E., and History. The math level of the

students ranges from the third to fifth grade level. This indicates that although they may not have the

prerequisite math vocabulary skills for the given grade level, they obtained some math in their native

language prior to coming to this school. The English reading level for this group is about the second to

fourth grade range.

Weaker, Average and Stronger Program Users

   The following chart recaps some of the information presented above as well as some additional

comments about computer usage abilities of the target population.

              Item                     Weaker learners           Average learners         Stronger learners
                                     12-13                     12-13                     12-13
Educational level                    2-3 grade                 4-5 grade                 6-7 grade
Reading level                        1st grade                 2nd grade                 3rd grade
Motivation                           Low                       Medium                    High
Prerequisite knowledge               No math vocab. word       1-8 math vocab.           +8 math vocab.
                                                               words                     words
Prerequisite skills                  Basic addition and        Competent with            Concept of fractions
                                     subtraction               multiplication            and decimals
Facility with a computer             None                      Minimal                   Basic
Familiarity with the Web             None                      Minimal                   Basic
Typing ability                       None                      Minimal                   Basic
Access to computers                  None                      None                      Minimal
Access to Web                        None                      None                      Minimal
Time availability for HCP            1-2 weeks, only in        1-2 weeks, only in        1-2 weeks, only in
                                     this math class           this math class           this math class

   Additionally, this group of students possesses a high level of motivation when working with

computers mostly due to the novelty of this class allowing time on computers. When asked during the

introduction portion of the usability test, all seven of the students indicated that they greatly enjoy

working on computers. Three of the students even stated they go to the library during their free lunch

period to use the computers. Only one of the seven students had a computer and Internet access outside

of this classroom. When the students first entered the class at the beginning of the school year, none were

familiar with using computer hardware or software and the keyboarding level for this group was low.

However, during our usability test, it appeared that the majority of the students were comfortable

navigating with the use of the keyboard and the mouse.

Purpose of the Hundred’s Chart Program (HCP):


   The goal of the Hundred’s Chart Program (HCP), Mucho Math, for mathematics was to produce a

useful teacher resource to instruct students in pre-algebra math vocabulary, while creating a student

friendly and motivating learning environment. The students that will benefit most from the HCP include

any child at the pre-algebra level who needs to grasp pre-algebra vocabulary in order to move on to more

complex math concepts. However, to focus on our specific target population, we based the program for

use in a middle school classroom model of seventh-grade students, where all of the students come from

Spanish speaking homes and speak very little English when they begin using the HCP. The HCP pursues

high expectations for students through the main activities of working with the virtual hundreds chart by

catering to a diverse population of varied ability levels. As the students move through the program, HCP

structures itself to generate higher-level questions. This method is designed to make the content more

comprehensible to early intermediate English Learners, as well as enhance learning for all students. The

overall goal is to try to build the knowledge and skills in interpreting and applying pre-algebra

vocabulary, while taking advantage of prior linguistic and math experiences.

Justification for HCP

   The reason our team believes in the HCP, versus a pencil-paper or hands-on manipulative, is based on

three fundamentals. First, we designed the HCP for English Language Learners (ELL), as mentioned

above in the target population description. As noted, many of the students have been in the states for less

than a year. Students appear enthusiastic to engage in this math class with its strong use of computers, in

part due to the fact that the majority of their other coursework is delivered in the traditional formal lecture

style classroom. The HCP activity provides the students with a break in the routine, which they appear to

appreciate due to observable student effort, concentration, and progress when being allowed to use

computers. Secondly, due to the low and varying academic levels of students, we differentiated

instruction by creating multiple levels within HCP and allowing for individual student pacing. During a

teacher lead activity using a paper and pencil version of the hundred’s chart, students must follow along

and keep up with the rest of the class, or just tune out what they do not understand. This program allows

students to work at their own pace, not in competition or under pressure from the rest of the class or the

teacher. Finally, the program is ideally set up with record keeping capabilities for assessments. The

teacher has the freedom to view progress as needed, freeing up time that it would take to manually score

or monitor an entire class participation in a paper and pencil style medium.

Theoretical Foundations and Pedagogical Approach:

   The HCP program falls in line with behaviorist methodologies. Behaviorism focuses on an objective,

breaks it down into specific tasks, and measures the performance based on the primary objective.

Scaffolding takes place because learners must learn through a succession of steps or stages. The HCP is

“Drill and Practice”, a form of behavioral learning, because students are given a stimuli of questions and

they are expected to respond to them. Furthermore, if the HCP becomes the activity we envision, a

rewards section will be built into the program for those students who complete all the levels. Rewards are

also a form of behaviorism’s operant conditioning. According to behaviorism, reinforcers or rewards,

influences both student learning and the endurance of the behavior.

   However, it is worthy to note that constructivism, does play a part in the HCP because students walk

away from the lesson with their own experience-based knowledge gained by the activity. The students

navigate through the activities drawing on prior experiences, and constructing their own knowledge on

how to make the next move. For example, if the HCP asks a student to “add nine”, it is up to the student

to decide how to do this. They can manually count nine squares over, or, they can jump ten (skip one row

down) and move back one space. By interpreting the math vocabulary and choosing a method to “add

nine,” students are constructing their own definitions for the meaning of the math vocabulary.

Additionally, the HCP adjusts itself to the students’ ability level, staying within their Zone of Proximal

Development (Vygotsky). HCP works within a student’s Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD) by

providing a variety of academic level entry points and by allowing students to increase their proficiency

in small increments. The HCP contains a glossary, therefore, serving somewhat as a “knowledgeable

person” helping the students at points where they need help. With this assistance, children may be able

to answer the problems that they are incapable of completing on their own. Students also work within

their ZPD because they benefit from instructional scaffolding in the form of questions, prompts, and cues.

Hence, although behaviorist methodologies predominate, some elements of constructivist learning are

also present.


   Based on the needs analyses and the pre-algebra task analyses of the target population, to be discussed

later, the HCP program aims for proficiency at the seventy percent level in the interpretation and

application of pre-algebra numeric and operational terms. The numeric terms that HCP covers include

the numbers one to one hundred. The HCP program focuses on addition and subtraction operational


Assessment of learners: Diagnostic, formative and summative:

   Assessment data will drive instruction throughout the HCP program. Students will generally start in

level one because most target learners have very low levels of pre-algebra vocabulary. However, a paper

and pencil diagnostic test along with a special log in procedure, allowing certain levels to be bypassed,

will be available for students who are above level one. Moreover, HCP has been infused with formative

assessment methods because in order for students to move from one level to the next, they must complete

seven out of ten practice items correctly, otherwise the level must be repeated. The successful completion

of the program serves as summative assessment because it indicates that students have attained program

objectives. The failure to successfully complete program objectives would indicate the need for

additional practice in levels that were not successfully completed. Use of tutorial features might be of

help for students who are unable to complete all HCP levels. Nonetheless, formative and summative

assessment procedures have been integrated into HCP, and these assessments guide the learning

experiences of users.

Instructional Design:

Need Analyses

i.   What is the demand or need we are trying to meet?

     Successful mastery of pre-algebra content requires that students possess proficiency in pre-algebra

vocabulary. Newcomers and students who have low levels of English proficiency face special linguistic

challenges in attempting to master pre-algebra content. These students must not only attain content

knowledge as required by the California Content State Standards, but they must also attain the vocabulary

of the discipline. Since the students for whom HCP was developed possess low levels of English

proficiency, HCP aims to improve their pre-algebra vocabulary proficiency through systematic instruction

in numeric words, math operation words, and pre-algebra skills.

ii. Why do we feel that HCP provides a valuable resource?

     HCP fills the need for instruction in pre-algebra vocabulary and pre-algebra skills in a systematic

manner. The multiple opportunities to practice numeric words, math operation terms, and basic pre-

algebra skills are sequenced in increasing levels of difficulty. The incremental nature of the difficulty of

HCP levels is achieved through the accumulation of pre-algebra terms, the use of more complex

vocabulary, and the presentation of more challenging question styles. Initial HCP levels focus on the

application of only two numeric words and one operational term. For example, the values of one and two

are coupled to the “increase by” operational phrase in level one. In more advanced levels, students are

required to apply multiple numeric values (numbers 1-25) and synonyms for the same operational term

(increase by, more, and sum of). In the final levels, HCP calls not only for the application of each

previously introduced pre-algebra term/skill, but it also calls for the coordinate application of previously

introduced terms and skills. HCP scaffolds the sizeable task of gaining proficiency in pre-algebra content

and skills through content that is organized in increasing level of difficulty.

   HCP provides an especially helpful instructional resource because its systematic instruction is coupled

to data driven instruction. Students can move to more difficult levels of HCP after having demonstrated

satisfactory mastery of easier levels. For example, in order for students to proceed from addition

operation vocabulary to subtraction operation vocabulary, seventy percent of the addition practice items

must be completed accurately. As students will be working on individual computers, they also benefit

from individual pacing and a risk free environment. The ongoing assessment and the provision for

individual pacing that has been infused into HCP increases the probability that students will be working

within their ZPD.

   HCP also fills the need for instruction in pre-algebra vocabulary in a positively affective manner.

Students are encouraged to improve their pre-algebra vocabulary through the nature of the instructional

medium and through game rewards. HCP provides instruction that appeals to students with different

learning styles. The content is presented through the use of visuals, auditory stimuli, and animations.

The students for whom HCP was developed have demonstrated a high level of motivation in using the

computer to learn math by requesting additional computer math activities and by making positive

comments about using the computer to learn math. To further motivate students, HCP rewards students

with game coins for correct responses, which may be used to play computer games that the students

enjoy. The systematic instruction in pre-algebra vocabulary and skills, as well as the computer

presentation format, makes HCP an effective instructional resource.

Task Analyses

i.    What knowledge, skills & procedures does a person who is proficient at pre-algebra vocabulary


     A student proficient at pre-algebra vocabulary knows the meaning of various representations of pre-

algebra terms and can apply the meaning to solve mathematical operations. Pre-algebra vocabulary can

be divided into two basic categories; numeric terms and operational terms. A student proficient at

numeric terms demonstrates knowledge of the meaning of numeric terms by accurately identifying

specific values for numeric terms that are represented in word or symbolic format. For example, a

proficient person attributes a value of five units to the word “five” and to the symbol “5.” Students

proficient at pre-algebra vocabulary also demonstrate an understanding of multiple representations of

operational words, such as the words “increase by”, “add”, and “more”, which all signify the addition

operation. Furthermore, proficiency in pre-algebra vocabulary not only requires the ability to apply the

meaning of the terms in isolation, but to coordinate the application of multiple pre-algebra terms

simultaneously. For example, the ability to accurately interpret a statement that asks for a number that is

the sum of twelve increased by thirty-three less four. In terms of breadth, a proficient person

demonstrates knowledge of the numeric terms from one to a hundred and of the operational terms for

addition, subtraction, multiplication, division, decimals, fractions, and percents. The California State

Framework requires that students be adept in each of the operations listed above. The HCP aims to help

students achieve this goal, in the specific operations of addition and subtraction.

ii. What entry-level knowledge and skills do the target learners possess?

     The entry-level knowledge and skills that our target population possesses varies as detailed in the aforesaid

description of learners. With regards to pre-algebra content, some students have grade level experience with

mathematical terms and operations in their native language (Spanish), but little to no experience in the

equivalent terminology in English. Other students possess only the basic level math skills of addition,

subtraction, multiplication, and division in their native language. Still others demonstrate a complete absence

of even basic math skills, in English or Spanish. The students’ English reading level ranges from second to

fourth grade. With respect to the computer skill level, the majority of the students know how to manipulate the

mouse, keyboard, and use basic graphic user interfaces. Given the variation in the entry-level knowledge and

skills of the target learners, HCP content encompasses basic numeric terms, as well as extensive application

and coordination of several operational terms, focusing on addition and subtraction operations.

iii. What are the steps or tasks taken in the HCP to help learners achieve proficiency?

   HCP systematically introduces two numeric terms and one operational term in each level. For

instance, in the first five levels of HCP, students work with numeric terms for the values of one through

ten and with addition operational terms. In higher levels, students work with addition and subtraction

operational terms as well as numeric terms for greater values. Consequently, as students progress from

one level to the next, they are required to demonstrate mastery of current and previously introduced

content. Overall, HCP presents the pre-algebra content and skills in an incremental, cumulative, and

repetitive fashion, which serves to increase the probability of student success.

Learning Methodology
i. How was the gap between the target user and the proficient person taken into account in the

    learning sequences?

   Decisions about the sequence of instructional activities were made after analyzing the differences

between the target and the proficient student users’ knowledge and skills, as well as the difficulty of pre-

algebra terms. By analyzing these differences in knowledge base between the target and the proficient

users, the instructional design team determined the content that needed to be included within the program.

The proposed program content was then subjected to further evaluation through the application of criteria

that would assess the difficulty of pre-algebra terms; the size, complexity, and abstractness of the pre-

algebra numeric and operational terms was considered in order to determine the optimal learning

sequence. Numeric terms that signified small values were judged to be easier than numeric terms with

larger values; smaller numbers were presented in beginning levels, while larger values were presented in

higher levels. Analogously, addition operation terms were judged to be easier than subtraction operation

terms, consequently addition terms were presented before subtractions terms. Overall, the need and the

                                                    - 10 -
task analyses data led the instructional design team to organize content in increasing level of difficulty

such that a change from one level to the next represented a small increment in content and difficulty.

ii. How were learner characteristics and task analyses used in decisions about teaching strategies?

   Since the target learners possess low levels of proficiency in pre-algebra terms and developing

proficiency in pre-algebra terms requires significant amounts of practice, the instructional design team

decided to use the drill and practice teaching strategy, as well as some elements of the tutorial teaching

strategy. These two strategies were selected because the students needed background knowledge building

experiences and step-by-step scaffolding in attaining grade level proficiency in pre-algebra vocabulary.

Students will use the HCP to practice pre-algebra numeric and operational terms through many questions

that provide ample opportunity for the development of proficiency. Should student users require

assistance in answering practice items, a glossary serves as a mini-tutorial to define all pre-algebra terms

used within HCP. The glossary provides the definition of pre-algebra terms in an animated format and a

text example of the application of the term in a pre-algebra operation. To address learner needs and task

requirements, both the drill and practice and the tutorial teaching strategies were incorporated into HCP.

Look and Feel:

Content, menus and navigation

   The HCP will have three major components, which will be accessible through a welcome screen. The

first is the hundreds chart, where students will practice pre-algebra vocabulary. The second component is

a glossary that contains all the math vocabulary used in HCP; the definitions are provided in conjunction

with animated graphics. The third component is a game room where students may play educational games

as a reward for satisfactory performance on the hundreds chart component. These three program

components will be accessible to the user on all screens on the bottom left of each frame, and thus will

provide for easy navigation between program components. It is also important to note that these HCP

components are the menu items for the program (hundreds chart, glossary, and game room). A salient

rollover button that is coupled to a text description is used to make each of these menu items transparent

sources of navigation. In addition, next buttons appear after the end of each level so that users can work

                                                   - 11 -
on the next level either by clicking on the hundred’s chart menu button or the next button. Hence, the

main components of the program are easily accessible through a consistent and clear menu.

The Glossary Help Section

   It is also important to note that the HCP program is equipped with a glossary that provides students

with the meanings of pre-algebra terms that are used in practice questions. If students require help on a

question, they can choose to look up the word and its application in the glossary. When students access

the glossary, HCP automatically resets; this means that the user will have to restart that particular level.

The HCP design and development team decided to force students to restart the level upon accessing the

glossary because the definitions and graphics in the glossary provide answers to HCP questions. By

forcing students to restart the level upon HCP glossary access, the instructional designers have provided

an incentive to students for remembering the pre-algebra vocabulary. Thus, HCP provides help for users,

but it also provides an incentive for long-term storage of the meanings of pre-algebra terms.

Learner Centered Design and Control

   We developed HCP using a learner centered design approach. Our goal was to create a program that

optimized transparency and maintained consistency in terms of navigation, content tasks, and menu

accessibility. The navigational buttons consist of an intuitive graphic that animates upon a rollover event.

For example the games menu button depicts a game joystick that moves and displays the word “games”

upon the rollover event. The hundreds chart activity is likewise made transparent because it consists of a

frame that mimics a typical paper based hundreds chart. By mimicking the features of the paper version

of the hundreds chart, the illusion of task recognition is obtained because students are familiar with paper

versions of hundreds charts and their associated activities. Also, in the hundreds chart activity task,

students can always count on directions that appear in the same location and on immediate feedback for

answers in the form of auditory and visual output. Moreover, we allowed users to have a reasonable

amount of control over how they progress through the program. Learners pace themselves by choosing

how many levels to complete, by the number of glossary access attempts, and by the number of coins

                                                    - 12 -
saved for the game room. Overall, user-friendly design was achieved through multiple efforts to achieve

transparency in navigation, content tasks, and menu accessibility, as well as user options for self-pacing.

Questions and feedback

   Both the questions and the feedback for the hundreds chart program are made clear through consistent

format and succinct content. The questions or prompts that allow the user to learn the pre-algebra

vocabulary always appear on the bottom right hand corner of any given frame of the hundreds chart

component. As the students scroll through different numbers on the hundreds chart, the numbers change

from white to yellow while remaining on a light blue background. If a user clicks on the correct number

as directed by the prompt then the user receives a new prompt. However, if a student clicks on an

incorrect number then a slight buzz sound and a red “x” appears where the error was made; a red marking

also appears below the program prompt that tracks the number of student errors per level. This visual

tracking of student errors is important because students are only allowed three mistakes per level before

they must repeat the level; seventy percent of the ten questions in each level must be answered correctly

in order to proceed to the next level. When students pass a level, an animated character nods in approval,

congratulating the student. Analogously, if a student does not pass the level an animated character asks

them to try again. Hence, students receive auditory and visual feedback upon responding to each

vocabulary prompt, as well as after the completion of each level. Moreover, students can see their

progress in each level by viewing the error tracking section located below the vocabulary prompts. In the

HCP program, the questions are presented in consistent locations, and the feedback is presented in

multiple ways: auditory, visual, and animated.

Presentation and Aesthetics

   The HCP displays a semi-classic look. Its main coordination colors are blue and white. Different

shades of blue are used for the backgrounds of program frames to provide visual orientation cues for

program component location. In general, darker blues are used in the welcome screen than in the actual

hundreds chart program component and in the glossary. White is the predominant text color, but yellow

and red are also used to accent certain text. For example, when the user rolls over a button with white

                                                   - 13 -
text, the text changes to yellow. In addition, various graphics and animations are used throughout HCP to

make program features transparent. Some examples of the graphics and animations that make program

features transparent include the use of happy bears and sad bears, smiling computer screens and winking

computer screens, Einstein, and more; these graphics and animations communicate either positive or

negative feedback after an HCP level has been completed. Other examples of the use of graphics and

animations that clarify program features include the use of an animated book graphic that links to the

glossary and an animated ape with a laptop that links to teacher administrative features. These latter

graphics and animations clarify the purpose of the main menu items. Overall, the aesthetic and

presentation elements not only create a visually pleasing work field, but they also assist with program


Structure of the Program:


(See Appendix A for first draft, signed-off copy of flowchart)

(See Appendix B for revision 2 of flowchart)


(See Appendix C first draft, signed-off copy of storyboards)

                                                  - 14 -
Administrative Documents:

Project Management Chart and Timelines

   Week 1.     (Jan 30) Meet in group to discuss possible concepts of a project. We determined that a
       Hundreds Chart Program (HCP) to teach pre-algebra math vocabulary would suit the needs of the
       audience. Set out team assignments as listed in the chart above.

   Week 2.    (Feb 6) Reviewed the “PURPOSE”/“USER CENTERED” approach criteria to the HCP.

   Week 3.    (Feb 13)
          a) Monica- Create the Document Format.
          b) Cindy- Create a timeline
          c) Jake- Work on Story Boards. Start setting up database.

   Week 4.    (Feb 20) No class
          a) Monica- Document Format to be completed
          b) Cindy- Timeline and “Description of Learners/Purpose” to be completed
          c) Jake- Story Boards are to be completed. Continue setting up database.

   Week 5.    (Feb 27)
          a) Monica- Fill in computer requirements chart, discuss and review Flash layout and design
          b) Cindy- Fill in timeline, discuss and review Flash layout and design
          c) Jake- Finish database, discuss and review Flash layout and design

   Week 6.     (Mar 6)
          a) Monica-Finish document format & fill in computer requirements sheet
          b) Cindy-Finish timeline, theorists link, flowchart
          c) Jake- Finish storyboards

   Week 7.     (Mar 13)
          a) Monica-Type out team member responsibilities, edit documentation, discuss with team
              next set of Flash goals
          b) Cindy-Work on document, discuss with team next set of Flash goals
          c) Jake- Have 50 levels completed, discuss with team next set of Flash goals

                                               - 15 -
          What goals did we reach this week?
          Jake explained the process of the glossary. The team chose a variety of graphics for the
          glossary as well as for the “congratulations” and “try again” cues. Monica and Cindy
          discussed the break down of the document to divide workflow.

          What highlights/challenges/concerns did we experience?

          Highlight: Received a confirmation from stating that it was OK
          to use their graphics/animations in our project, even if we intend on reselling. Jake
          completed 30 levels and the HCP looks like it is going smoothly. Monica completed
          document format, easy to follow and comprehensive.

          Challenge: 1) Group agreeing on the graphics/images to use on the HCP. We did come
          to consensus. 2) Deciding if we want rollover text on the buttons… User center because
          it would clear button usage up for the learner. 3) Noting that the font for the math
          question at the bottom of each screen during the HCP levels is too small. Jake will work
          on. Plus, he noted that there is the audio component, which repeats the question.

          Concerns: 1) Spoke to Dr. Brown about potential color issues in the HCP, and the affect
          the color may have to triggering seizures in some children. It was discussed that the HCP
          should be OK, but noted that the idea of mixing certain colors on a page could have such
          a negative effect. 2) Need to have a beta test with an intended target audience by March

Week 8.   (Mar 20)
      a) Monica- Work on document section 7
      b) Cindy- Work on documents section 6
      c) Jake-Glossary and possibly -student records and database. Test the project at this stage
          with an intended target audience. Provide feedback.

          What goals did we reach this week? Cindy added to this timeline to include the sub
          questions about goals and challenges/highlights

          What challenges/concerns/highlights did we experience? We worked on downsizing
          the vocabulary section of the program and decided to eliminate all the words that have
          not yet been used in HCP levels. It was too overwhelming a project and confused a
          sample set of students. Jake expressed that the vocabulary screen with all it animation
          actually began to bog down the running speed of the program in general.

Week 9.   (Mar 27) No Class
      a) Monica- Work on document section 10 and usability test
      b) Cindy- Work on document section 4 & 5
          What goals did we reach this week? -No class

          What challenges/concerns/highlights did we experience? -No Class

                                           - 16 -
Week 10. (Apr 3)     Review and make adjustments to HCP Beta Project
       a) Monica- Go to school to perform usability test on April 7
       b) Cindy- Go to school to perform usability test on April 7
       c) Jake- List what you would like to improve in version 2.0 and why. Perform usability test
           with students

           What goals did we reach this week? Monica and Cindy reorganization of reference and
           working management documentation.

           What challenges/concerns/highlights did we experience? Reworking the management
           document content and sequence to reflect the project’s actual flow and features more
           accurately. Combined a few topics and headings, conferred with Dr. Brown on if all
           elements are present, and added Version 2.0 suggestions,

Week 11. (Apr 10) BETA PROJECT DUE!!! – Jake’s students on spring break
       a) Monica- Work on Document
       b) Cindy- Work on Document
       c) Jake- Make suggested changes in HCP from usability tests with target group

           What goals did we reach this week? Monica and Cindy made sound decisions on the
           contents of the final document, eliminating redundancy and rearranging sections for
           clarity. Created a current table of contents to maintain focus and determine a list of needs

           What challenges/concerns/highlights did we experience? Making necessary changes
           to the Beta HCP for the peer group testing next week.

Week 12. (Apr 17)
       a) Monica-Usability test results due, complete learner manual
       b) Cindy- Usability test results due, complete animation and script section, complete peer
           review results section
       c) Jake- Make suggested changes in HCP from usability tests with target group

           What goals did we reach this week? Document is ready to be proofed to date.
           Determined sections needed as the beta testing, learner manual, script, animation, audio,
           and program code.

           What challenges/concerns/highlights did we experience? The in class Beta testing
           feedback was very encouraging and mostly positive. The thoughts and advice the peer
           review team presented were excellent in pushing our project toward adding clarity and
           become more error free.

                                             - 17 -
    Week 13. (Apr 24)
            a) Monica-proof current document
            b) Cindy- finish integrating multiple sections into final document, proof document
            c) Jake- Make suggested changes in HCP from peer tests with target group, complete audio
                and code section
                What goals did we reach this week? Document is proofed and many sections added
                this week to complete 95 percent of final project

                What challenges/concerns/highlights did we experience? None at this time.

    Week 14. (May 1)
            a) Monica-proof final document
            b) Cindy- proof final document
            c) Jake- Make suggested changes in HCP from peer tests with target group, complete audio
                and code section

                What goals did we reach this week?

                What challenges/concerns/highlights did we experience?

    Week 15. (May 8) HCP DUE!!! PRESENTATION

Team Member Roles, Responsibilities and Assignments
   All three team members of the HCP instruction design team brought expertise, experience, enthusiasm,

and dedication to creating optimal learning software for the target users, while generating concise and

resourceful documentation. Cindy Calmese, Jake Enfield, and Monica Llamas worked collaboratively to

decide on the depth and breadth of the HCP program content, the look and feel of its components, and the

completeness of its supporting documents.

   Cindy’s primary role was project manager; her secondary roles were graphic/animation artist and

documentation contributor and editor. As project manager, she directed the details of the project, creating

timelines, administrative documents, and making final decisions about project management issues. Cindy

produced the flowchart and assisted with the storyboard. In addition, Cindy obtained multimedia resource

elements such as graphics and animations, as well as assisted with all documentation. In her role as

                                                  - 18 -
project manager, she reviewed instructional design and programming elements. Moreover, she logged

and tracked ongoing assessments and alterations of the HCP.

   Jake’s primary role was programmer; his secondary roles included audio artist and instructional design

editor. He drafted the storyboard after extensive discussions with the instructional designer and project

manager. Jake completed the displays and interactive properties of HCP by creating the code and

performing debugging tasks. In his secondary role as instructional design editor, Jake reviewed content

and instructional methods. Jake’s instructional reviews and revisions were performed before, during, and

after multiple versions of HCP development. As the programmer, it was necessary for Jake to make

several revisions to HCP as feedback from the project manager, instructional designer and prospective

clients was gathered and analyzed. Jake also provided the instructional design team with the target

population usability test clients.

   Monica’s primary role was instructional designer and documentation manager. In her role as

instructional designer, she constructed the task analyses, needs analyses, and learning methodology. She

also made decisions about the scope and sequence of content. As documentation manager, Monica wrote

major elements of the documentation and helped decide on the breadth and depth of documentation

elements. She also addressed issues of content delivery methods, user access to program features

(glossary), and user-friendly design. Monica participated in providing assistance to the project manager

and programmer with their tasks.

File Management

   We labeled all files HCP_”FILENAME”_”DATE”. We exchanged numerous e-mails for

proofreading and additions, to which we would add initials to the file that was reviewed, for example,

named as HCP_”FILENAME”_”DATE”_”CC”. (CC for Cindy Calmese or ML for Monica Llamas.)

Our file back-up system included two safeguards. All three team members maintained copies of all

documentation and .swf files on their personal computers and on their flash drives.

                                                   - 19 -

Computer Requirements:

   In order for the Hundred’s Chart Program to work effectively certain hardware and software is

essential. HCP may only be run on a PC computer with at least 512 RAM and a hard drive capacity of 20

gigabytes or more. Since audio will be used throughout HCP, a sound card is essential, preferably Sound

Max Digital Audio™. A minimum monitor resolution of 1024 by 768 pixels is also necessary. As HCP

will be available via the Internet, a modem speed of at least 56kB is required for the program to run

effectively. In terms of software, the Windows XP operating system and the Internet Explorer browser is

vital. If a user doesn’t have the Macromedia Flash plug-in, this should be downloaded prior to attempting

to use HCP.

See the next five pages for Script/Text and Graphics/Animation…

                                                  - 20 -
     Script/Text and Graphics/Animation

The screen shots below present the text and graphics located on the introduction and credits
screen. Depending on the user level and role (student or teacher), the user can choose to move
into the:
   • student records by clicking on the icon of an ape typing on a computer,
   • hundreds chart by clicking on the icon of the orange number sign and rotating atom
   • vocabulary by clicking on the icon of the page turning book,
   • or games by clicking on the icon of the toggling joystick game controller.

                                            - 21 -
         The next two screen shots
         represent samples of the
         actual hundreds chart
         activity. The lower left
         corner of the screen just
         above the menu choices
         provides the HCP level
         indication in red font. On
         the lower right, the
         current question is listed
         in white font as well as
         how many “strikes” or
         errors (see below) the user
         has on the given level
         represented by red boxed
         with X’s marked through

- 22 -
         These two screen shots
         represent samples of the
         positive reinforcements
         and stimuli that help the
         users progress through the
         hundreds chart activity.
         Again, the animated
         graphics are meant to
         encourage participation in
         the learning activity.

- 23 -
         These vocabulary screen
         shots represent samples
         the graphics and animation
         used to capture the users’
         attention and draw them to
         the tutorial text, which
         appears shortly after they
         enter the vocabulary

- 24 -
The screen shots above present the text and graphics located in the games
section of the HCP. The fish are animated in the game for added “surprise
and delight” effect. The game is used as a reward for completing a certain
number of levels during the hundreds chart activity.
                                   - 25 -
Program Code and Audio


   The sound files were created by recording in .wav format, and this proved to be too large a file.

Therefore, the programmer used a free .wav to mp3 converter program to change the sound files to mp3’s

and concatenated sounds in order to decrease the total file size of all audio files. For example, instead of

recording “twenty-one”, the programmer used the recordings for “twenty” and “one” that had been

previously created.

Using multiple .swf files

   A programming technique considered important for this project was to create a main .swf file, which

included the bottom menu bar, that could play other .swf files such as the vocabulary section and the

hundred’s chart section. By using multiple .swf files, the HCP could be separated into smaller more

manageable parts.

Accessing a database

   Saving the data for each student to a database proved time consuming to figure out. This needed to be

done to keep track of the name, level, and number of game coins the student had remaining. First, the

programmer learned some basic sql statements to create a database, add tables, and insert data into the

table fields. Secondly, the programmer learned some PHP code in order to run sql queries and update the

database. Finally, the programmer determined how to write the action script using loadVars that would

execute the PHP scripts when needed. By working through these activities, the programmer recommends

waiting until the product is close to completion before making it rely on logging in. Once this had been

done, several steps had to be moved through every time a change and subsequent testing were performed.

For instance, the process included saving the Flash after making the changes, publishing the .swf file,

uploading the .swf file to the server, and finally going to the internet and logging in as a student.

                                                    - 26 -
Alpha-testing results, reflections and revisions:

   Glossary Concerns: If a student goes to look up a term in the glossary, they will forfeit the level and

have to restart at that level. Will this be frustrating for the students? Should a safety net be built asking if

the students are sure they want to exit? The design team wants want the students to get help when they

need it, but do not want them to rely on the glossary all the time. We decided to try and create a safety

net whereby students must confirm their decision to look up a math term and begin the same level again.

   Animation Concerns: Should we use stationary clip art for the glossary or animated clipart? We

decided to use animation first, have the animation stop, and then bring the text in. This sequence will

draw the learner’s attention, so that they will be more apt to read the text that explains the math term. In

addition, by preceding and combining the text explanation with an animation, the user receives multi-

modal input and is more likely to focus on and comprehend the math term.

   Animation Use Concerns: The design team used graphics from and had

concerns on whether the graphics could be used on a public website. An E-mail was sent to the copyright

holder of the animation. The copyright holder approved the use of the graphics and animation for

software that may later be sold. (See Appendix D for Animation Factory correspondence.)

   Color Scheme: We were informed by Dr. Brown of potential seizure triggers when mixing certain

colors (red/blue) and having those colors strobe. Researched this concept of “Photosensitive Epilepsy”

and determined that color schemes and “flashing” or “strobing” can trigger a seizure in patients already

prone to having seizures. Eliminated what we thought could cause such an episode from the HCP.

   Glossary Concerns: Decided to eliminate many sections of the glossary that the students will not

directly need, with the exception of a few additional terms. The page became more user friendly, based

on observations made when a representative of the target user population tried the program and was

confused when entering the original glossary section. The design team worked on downsizing the

vocabulary section of the program and decided to eliminate all the words that have not yet been used in

HCP levels. It was too overwhelming a project and confused a sample set of students. Jake expressed

                                                     - 27 -
that the vocabulary screen with all it animation actually began to bog down the running speed of the

program in general.

   Rollover Text for Buttons: User centered because it would clear button usage up for the learner.

   Peer Beta Text Results: Revealed that the design team should consider adding more concise

instructions for the learner to follow on each screen throughout the program, especially in the games

portion where no instructions were provided.

Beta-testing results and discussion:

Peer review results:

The following page reflects the assessment of the HCP as written by our peer beta testing group:

Group Conducting Beta Evaluation: Tulips

Instructions and Goals:
         Either on the title page or maybe a separate directions page, please explain the purpose and
clarify directions. . . is this for fun, for practice, for review? Do students need to go through all four
options (student records, 100’s chart, vocabulary, games)?
It would help to have some directions/ information on goals for each level on the 100’s chart. For
example, do students need to complete 10 problems with less than 3 strikes?

“Look and Feel”
         We thought the look and feel of the project was appropriate. The colors and the fonts were
attractive and clear. We especially liked the animated graphics and buttons.

“Surprise and Delight”
         The happy computer screen and the crying bear at the end of the levels were delightful! We also
liked the fish game with the animated fish. The animated examples of the bonus vocabulary words were
also enjoyable, but some users may move on before seeing the written explanations that appear below.

Easy to use?
        The content was easy to complete, especially the 100’s chart. However, sometimes navigation
was difficult, due to lack of “help” or “back” buttons. For example, after feedback for the fish game, it
might be helpful to have a “play again” or “home” button. For the fish game, clarify the directions. We
figured out how to use the up and down arrows, but only through trial and error. Also, the user should
know what controls to use to “eat” the fish. There are a few elements that you are probably still working
on, such as the game menu, which has no title inside the game button and only one of four game choices.
Should the student record remain blank? Is level 2 of the fish food game still under development?

Breaking the product?
         In the vocabulary section, the answer for both the addition and subtraction problem is 68, where
as it should be -22 for the second problem. You may want to change the number choice to avoid a
negative answer.
         Also, in the 100’s chart, sometimes it says “a hundred” and sometimes it says “one hundred.”

                                                     - 28 -
Peer review discussion

   Our peer review team provided valuable feedback both as peer teachers and as cohorts in the Master’s

Degree program and the EDEL 518 series. The team presented valid points on how to improve the

project for our target users. Since the peer review team is familiar with the process and the Flash

software, their feedback proved vital to clarifying instructions on a variety of HCP components. For

example, the peer review team asked us to include written on-screen directions in a few of the HCP

sections. This suggestion made us evaluate the fact that if they needed to request directions as expert

users and peer teachers, then how challenging is this program without such directions for our target user?

Additionally, one of the easiest things to do when heavily involved in such a complex project is to

overlook critical errors or misprints on items that can be extremely misleading to students if not corrected.

For instance, the peer review team found an arithmetic error in our subtraction equation. (Notice the

screen shot below.) This type of feedback proves essential to generating an effective piece of learning


                                                   - 29 -
Student review results (usability test)

(See Appendix E for sample of completed usability test form.)

Task 1 - Intro/Login screen Results:

   All the students enjoyed the color scheme on the intro welcome screen and found the text readable.

Some students were confused by the login portion of the screen and unaware of how to use the login.

None of the students could deduce the purpose of the program based on the welcome screen.

Additionally, when asked which icon to click on to start the HCP activity, some students pointed to the

joystick game controller and others said they did not know where to go.

Task 2 – Hundred’s Charts Activity Results:

    When entering the HCP activity screen, students were asked if they could determine what they were

going to do next. Some thought they would be performing addition and subtraction problems, while

others thought they were going to do multiplication problems. The team found mixed results when the

students were asked if they believed the activity looked hard or easy. Low students believed the activity

would be difficult, while higher achievers were confident in their ability to complete the tasks. After

completing level one, all students had confidence in their navigation skills and their ability to complete

the next level.

   When asked to begin the task of completing level one, all the students managed to finish the level.

The low achieving students made one error on average and took more time to finish the task.

Additionally, most students were aware of the error tracking system without teacher input. All of the

students appreciated the audio prompts and feedback. Every student enjoyed the congratulatory

animation after completing the level.

Task 3 – Vocabulary Results:

   All the children expressed enjoyment in response to the animations, which they called “pictures”.

However, when entering the screen, they were uncertain what to do next and were unsure about the

relevance of the equation examples. Some students ignored the equation examples and went directly to

the buttons.

                                                   - 30 -
Exit Question Results:

   All the students stated that the animations were the highlight of the activity. After working through

the program, all students agreed that the activity was easier than they originally believed. All of the

children reported that they would be interested in working in the HCP outside the classroom setting.

Some students even asked for the login information to work in the program during their lunch break. All

of the students were excited at the prospect of being able to play a game with coins earned through

completing levels. The students least liked the hundreds chart activity problems because they thought

they were confusing at times. One student did not like the buttons and felt the monkey animation (linking

to the student records) was “stupid”.

Test Administrator Observations:

   The average amount of time to complete a level was about five minutes. The students spent an

average of seven minutes exploring the vocabulary section. One hundred percent of the students

completed the level one task, with an average of one error. Most of the students did not ask for

help, but team member prompting was occasionally necessary for the students to proceed

through the usability test. Indicators of “surprise and delight” effects were evident through

students’ smiles and giggles as they viewed the animations. Frustration seemed evident through

sighs and frowns when the students answered questions incorrectly.

Student review discussion (usability test)

   The results of the usability test indicated the presence of several strengths and a few weaknesses in the

HCP. Major assets of the program were the design, look, and feel of the program. The students enjoyed

the animations, the color scheme, the text readability, and the navigation tools. Additionally, the use of

written and audio directions proved beneficial in assisting the students to complete the HCP levels. The

login procedure presents one weakness in the program as the students were unaware of its purpose.

Furthermore, the students were confused when entering the vocabulary screen as they were unsure of the

relevance of the equation examples. Given the fact that once the students completed a level, their

                                                   - 31 -
confidence increased, the design team suggests a background building activity or a demonstration to

allow the students to gain familiarity with the program.


Support/Supplementary Materials:

Instructor Manual

   To run HCP, insert the CD into the disk drive so that the installation process may begin automatically.

Should the installation of program components fail to automatically initiate, go to the start menu, select

run and use the browse feature to choose the appropriate drive. After the program components are

installed, clicking on the HCP icon will cause the HCP welcome screen to appear. Following the HCP

on-screen directions should suffice for future uses after all program components have been installed.

   If the user chooses to run HCP through the Internet then additional requirements apply. A modem

speed of at least 56kB is required for the program to run effectively, and the Macromedia Flash plug-in

needs to be downloaded prior to attempting to use HCP. In order to run HCP through the Internet please

download the Flash player plug-in (if not already installed) at

After ensuring that the Flash player plug-in is installed, visit to begin your HCP exploration.

Technical Manual

   As a reminder, HCP must be run on a computer with the appropriate hardware and software

requirements. The program CD must be installed on a PC that is equipped with at least 512 RAM and a

hard drive capacity of at least 20 gigabytes. The PC should also be running the Windows XP operating

system. As audio will be used throughout HCP, a sound card is essential, preferably Sound Max Digital

Audio™. Furthermore, since HCP relies heavily on graphics and animation, a monitor resolution with at

least 1024 by 768 pixels is necessary. Checking that the computer possesses necessary hardware and

software will ensure that HCP works effectively. If downloading the HCP to run off the Internet, DSL or

a cable modem (or faster) is recommended.

                                                     - 32 -
Learner Manual

Step 1

Step 2

                 - 33 -
Step 3


         - 34 -
Version 2.0: Assessment, content, database capabilities, game room and exploratory activity:


   A placement test will be added to HCP in version 2.0 in order to ensure that students enter the program

at their appropriate performance level. The present version of HCP requires that all students enter the

program at the same level regardless of their current level of proficiency in pre-algebra vocabulary. By

using a placement test, students who have higher proficiencies in pre-algebra vocabulary would not waste

time, and students with lower proficiencies in pre-algebra vocabulary would not experience frustration at

content that is beyond their reach. The inclusion of a placement test represents an improvement upon

version 1.0 because it differentiates the learning experiences of students. For students who are first

starting, give a placement test with the same difficulty as level 44. If student passes, they will

automatically start on level 48!


   Besides the current addition and subtraction pre-algebra vocabulary and applications, version 2.0

would include pre-algebra content vocabulary for multiplication, division, fractions, decimals and

percents. The questions in this later version would be more challenging because of cumulative and

coordination demands. The augmentation of pre-algebra content terms increases the number of

vocabulary applications on which student users may be tested. The increase in pre-algebra content terms

also increases the number of pre-algebra vocabulary combinations, which student users will have to

coordinate in order to successfully complete program levels. Some examples of these more challenging

questions include the following: Add the product of nine and three; subtract three from the square root of

six; increase five by four cubed. A question that only asks about addition terms is easier than a question

that requires the coordinate understanding of addition and multiplication vocabulary. Hence the content

breadth and difficulty will be increased in version 2.0.

   Other examples:

        Add levels using current math vocabulary section
               “Start with the number of wheels on a tricycle.”
               “Increase by the number of legs on an octopus.”

                                                    - 35 -
        Add levels using additional math vocabulary
               “Add the number of seconds in a minute”
               “Take away the number of years in a decade”
               “Take away the sum of 8 and 2.”
               “Add the product of 3 and 4”

        Add levels with more difficult math concepts
               “Add three squared.”
               “Take away the square root of 16.”

Database capabilities and Administrative procedures

   In version 2.0, HCP will be equipped with a database that tracks student progress throughout the

different HCP levels. The student users would log on by typing in their name and a unique password in

the first HCP screen. As the students complete each program level, the data would be stored in tables,

which would later be accessed to generate a number of reports for the teacher user. This program feature

would be helpful to both the student users and teacher users. The student users benefits because they are

allowed to proceed at their own pace, and the teacher user saves time in grading and monitoring students’

progress in the pre-algebra vocabulary because the reports are automatically generated. Thus, the

database capabilities provide an added feature to facilitate the ease by which HCP may be incorporated

into the classroom setting.


   Create a safety net whereby students must confirm their decision to look up a math term in the

glossary and begin the same level again. Moreover, the design team would like to add vocabulary terms

to match the new levels

Game room

   In version 2.0, HCP will have more math games that will serve as a reward for gaining points or

“coins” for the completion of program levels. A “guess where the animal is hiding” game will be added;

students would click on different regions of the coordinate system and receive feedback about their guess.

This new game develops their knowledge of the x-y coordinate system, which will become important in

more advanced math courses. This represents an improvement upon HCP because the students will have

more game choices.

                                                  - 36 -
Brunsfelsia Team

Task Issues:                                   Point Assignment:
                                     (Good=3, Average =2, Below Average= 1)

     1. Contribution to planning tasks                       3
     2.   Contribution to design tasks                       3
     3.   Contribution to development tasks                  3
     4.   Completes work by deadlines                        3
     5.   Quality of work                                    3
     6.   Edits assignments                                  3
     7.   Overall Effort                                     3
     8.   Attendance at meetings                             3
     9.   Contribution to meetings                           3
     10. Preparation for meetings                            3

Process Issues:                               Point Assignment:
                                          (Good=2, Below Average= 1)

     11. Respects group members                              2
     12. Listens to group members                            2
     13. Voices/Addresses concerns                           2
     14. Positive Attitude                                   2
     15. Empathy                                             2
     16. Supports and trusts group members                   2
     17. Cooperation                                         2
     18. Willingness to negotiate                            2
     19. Seeks Win/Win solutions                             2
     20. Mediates disagreements                              2

Total Points:                                           50 Go team!

                                               - 37 -

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