Project proposal by liuhongmei


									DM3028 Instructional Design and Development

Project proposal
Learn Slovenian and about Slovenia

                               Dec 2009
December 1, 2009                           PROJECT PROPOSAL                                   BY PETRA KRAVOS, 0716199

                                                   TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. Introduction ........................................................................................................................... 3

2. Aims and objectives ............................................................................................................... 3

3. Target audience ..................................................................................................................... 4

4. Resources for learning Slovenian language ........................................................................... 5

5. Why interactive technology could be useful for language learning ...................................... 7

6. Pedagogical framework ......................................................................................................... 8

    6.1 Language pedagogy and computer-based instruction ................................................. 10

    6.2 Use of cognitivism ......................................................................................................... 11

        6.2.1 Theory of memory ................................................................................................. 11

        6.2.2 Cognitive styles and learning................................................................................. 12

        6.2.3 Perception and attention ...................................................................................... 13

    6.3 Use of behaviourism ..................................................................................................... 15

    6.4 Use of constructivism .................................................................................................... 15

7. Learner control in educational software ............................................................................. 16

8. Use of personalization principle .......................................................................................... 16

9. The structure of my program through a flowchart and scamps ......................................... 17

Bibliography ............................................................................................................................. 19


Appendix A: Some of the online research ............................................................................... 20

Appendix B: Programme’s scamps .......................................................................................... 24

Appendix C: Flowchart ............................................................................................................. 30

Appendix D: Functionality specification .................................................................................. 32

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December 1, 2009                PROJECT PROPOSAL                       BY PETRA KRAVOS, 0716199

                                    Project proposal
                           Learn Slovenian and about Slovenia
1. Introduction

This proposal introduces an interactive instructional artefact which I am going to produce and

explains the reasons for the design. It also explains the research conducted and weaknesses of

existing interactive artefacts. Comparing to other programmes, my programme will be created in

completely new way, with its sections based on different theories, connected with learning, thinking

and remembering. It will also take into account specific language learning aspects.

2. Aims and objectives

The aim of this programme is to teach basics of Slovenian language and also to teach the learners

some basic information about the country.

The objectives are as follow:

   Given the quiz about Slovenia’s basic country information (location, capital, people,

    neighbouring countries, size) the learner will be able to answer correctly to at least 4 questions

    out of 5. They will choose the correct answer from 4 different choices.

   Given a list of English words and letters of Slovenian alphabet, the learner will be able to match

    the letters which are not pronounced the same in English with the English words, which contain

    the sound of those letters with allowance of 1-2 errors.

   Given the images representing different greetings and greetings in Slovenian on the side, the

    user will be able to label the greetings correctly. The greetings that the user will be able to

    identify: dober dan(good day), dobro jutro (good morning), dober vecer (good evening), zivjo

    (hi), nasvidenje/adijo (good bye)

   Given a noun (related to people) and a group of images, learner will be able to correctly identify

    the image which relates to this noun. The nouns related to people the user will be expected to

    identify: moski (a man), zenska (a woman), punca (a girl), fant (a boy), mama (mum), tata(dad),

    zena(wife), moz(husband).

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December 1, 2009                PROJECT PROPOSAL                      BY PETRA KRAVOS, 0716199

   While listening to the audio version of basic Slovenian words (words from different sections:

    nouns, numerals, simple sentences), the learner will be able to interpret them correctly and they

    will be able to select the correct meaning of the recorded word(s) from 3 given choices. From 5

    given word(s) they are expected to get at least 4 right.

   Given a set of Slovenian words for numerals 1-10, which are not in any particular order, the

    learner will be able to order them correctly from 1-10 in maximum 3 tries to get it right.

   Given a word for one of the numerals from 1 to 15, the learner will be able to quickly point out

    to the correct number on the screen.

   Given a question and a group of simple sentences, the learner will be able to comprehend the

    sentences and select the correct answer from 3 choices. The questions asked will be: who are

    you, where are you from, what is this.

3. Target audience

This artefact will target different types of people: from the tourists, who go to Slovenia for a short

visit, to people who have Slovenian partners in England and would like to learn this language. This is

not going to be anything like a phrasebook; it will be more like a course to give basic foundations of

the language to people who then want to progress further to more advanced level. The people who

may want to use this programme are not only the tourists who go to Slovenia regularly and want to

speak basics (and then take in to further level); but also there are English people who buy properties

in Slovenia and are even thinking of retiring there and last but not least, English people with

Slovenian partners, who create families in England and their children are multi-lingual. The age

range is very broad, from 18 to 60, and the users could be females or males.

What my programme will try to achieve is to give foundation of Slovenian language to the people

who want to become more fluent then and also give them basic vocabulary and phrases so they are

able to communicate a bit in Slovenian.

In order to create the best possible Slovenian teaching software I made a research on existing

materials and tried to identify the weaknesses of them, so I can then produce better artefact.

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December 1, 2009                PROJECT PROPOSAL                    BY PETRA KRAVOS, 0716199

4. Resources for learning Slovenian language

I researched into what kind of resources there are in terms of learning Slovenian when the spoken

main language is English. I discovered many books, written for different types of people (see

                           Appendix A), so for example we have the phrasebook with a dictionary

                           (Slovenian Berlitz Phrasebook), which targets the tourists who come to

                           Slovenia for short time and want to know what to say in different social

                           situations and scenarios. There are also some books which teach

                           Slovenian from scratch and they come with an audio CD, such as ‘Teach

                           yourself Slovene’. When it comes to interactive programmes there are

                           some interactive CD-ROMs by a major company EuroTalk, which are the

Figure 1: Interactive CD-ROM   authors of the world’s best selling language learning CD-ROM series

for beginners; Talk Now! One of them is ‘Learn Slovenian’, which is for complete beginners (see

Figure 1). In these interactive CD-ROMs there is no learning about the actual country; the emphasis

is on the language. So it looks like by using this programme the people would learn some basics of

the language but knew nothing about the country. That is why I want to create an interactive

programme which teaches people some basic information about the country as well. I researched

into Talk now! Software and found some information on how the programme is designed and what

approach they use to teach Slovenian. On their website they describe how it works:

      Talk Now! Slovenian gives you easy-to-achieve goals. Learning a new language is far too
      big a task to tackle all at once, so we have broken it down into a series of rewarding
      Play interactive language games. Talk Now! feeds you new words, along with pictures to
      reinforce your memory. It then tests your knowledge with fun quizzes. As soon as you
      start playing you start learning.
      Earn points for every game you play. High scorers can go on to win bronze, silver and
      gold awards, which you can print out as a record of achievement.
      You will hear Slovenian all of the time and, using the recording games, you can start
      speaking straight away, then compare your voice to a native speaker (Euro Talk Ltd,

It seems to be a good teaching approach, but I did have a look at some of the screen shots of the

programme and it seems like it does have some weaknesses.

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December 1, 2009                  PROJECT PROPOSAL                         BY PETRA KRAVOS, 0716199

Figure 2: The fun way to learn parts of the body: by building a monster!

It is a great idea to play games and learn at the same time but the games should be designed

correctly with some thoughts on how people learn, what elements should be included and what

elements should be omitted. According to coherence principle (Clark and Mayer, 2008:140-145), the

graphics that does not help learning should be omitted. They conclude that “*...+ adding interesting

but unnecessary material [...] to e-learning can harm the learning process by preventing the learner

from processing the essential material” (2008:142). In Figure 2, we see the background of the game

and the graphics in front and it is obvious that there is a lot of things going on, possibly a bit too

much and these can distract the user by guiding their attention towards irrelevant material. It may

be more beneficial to learning to build a simpler game with fewer graphic and the graphics which

would be on screen; it really should be only the pictures of the body parts we want to learn in this


The way I am going to make my programme, will be totally different to already existing interactive

CD-ROMs. In my case I am going to take into account different studies done on how people learn

with multimedia and how should the programme be like for the people to learn more and remember

more at the end. I will also take into account different theories and strategies on learning a foreign


Another issue which I found with the existing material was that learning a language did not

necessary mean learning about the country as well (although some materials would include a short

section of some basic country information, but would not try and teach these). I do find knowing

something about the country an important piece of knowledge which goes together with learning

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December 1, 2009                 PROJECT PROPOSAL                       BY PETRA KRAVOS, 0716199

this country’s language, that’s why I am creating a section in my programme, which will introduce

the user to the country and teach some basic country information.

Apart from looking at books and interactive CD-ROMs I also looked at the websites which try to

teach Slovenian. There are not many of them and they seem to be difficult to use and they are

poorly designed. See Appendix A for some of these websites and the screen shots. These websites

seem to be lacking images, which can be very important aid when learning a new language.

It can be concluded that there are different modes of instructions already available, but using

interactive technology over other modes brings a lot of different benefits.

5. Why interactive technology could be useful for language learning

There is more than one reason to use the interactive technology. In a lot of cases people learn better

and quicker with the help of multimedia. Language-learning is a special area where interactive

technology helps more with learning than non-interactive methods.

Looking at the resources for learning Slovenian, it can be seen that Slovenian phrasebooks have the

pronunciation written on the side, but it is not always correct or it is difficult to write the

pronunciation in English way and then pronounce it. Interactive technology does this much better.

Users are able to hear the pronunciation and play it again if needed. They would also have a

translation available in a form of text or image. Audio CD-ROMs do enable the learners to be able to

hear native speakers, but they can only listen to them and repeat the words, but there is no

interaction. Although it would work together with the exercise book, for example: we would have to

answer the questions in a book, from what we have just heard on a CD; but I do not think this is the

best way of learning the language and not the fastest method. Individual learner do need to practice

a lot when learning a foreign language and the difficulty of the language might put the learner off

and this is when computer technology is better, as it motivates the learner more and enables the

user to interact more. Crawford (2003) makes a good point:

“Interactivity is superior to all other forms of human expression in one way: it engages the human

mind more powerfully than any other form of expression. When we truly interact with someone or

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something, we are truly engaged. In contrast, noninteractive forms of expression do not hold our

attention so tenaciously” (p. 15)

Allesi and Trollip also state the situations where the computer is likely to be beneficial, one of them

being when extensive individual learner practice is needed; and they give example of foreign

language. (2001:6)

However, when creating the interactive technology the instruction should be correctly implemented

with consideration on how people learn, otherwise the learning is not going to be effective.

“Instruction should be the creation and use of environments in which learning is facilitated” (Alessi

and Trollip, 2001:7). Clark and Mayer also state: “When a course uses effective instructional

methods, learning will be better, no matter what delivery medium is used” (2008:21). They also

point out: “The challenge in e-learning, as in any learning program, is to build lessons in ways that

are compatible with human learning processes” (2008:28). The next section will look at different

learning theories and language learning specific theories and from the propositions arrived at by the

theory; it will try and apply these in practice.

6. Pedagogical framework

My programme will consist of two totally different sections: one about Slovenia and the other

teaching Slovenian. In these two sections I will use different approaches, based on various learning

theories. Firstly, I introduce major schools of thoughts which I will be using across the programme:

behaviourism, cognitivism and constructivism. They are all a bit different, each having their own

advantages and that is why they will all be used throughout the programme in different


Ally (2004:7) explains that “behaviourists claim that it is the observable behaviour that indicates

whether or not the learner has learned something, and not what is going on in the learner’s head.”

Alessi and Trollip also examine behaviourists’ approach and look at the Skinner’s philosophy (an

important behaviourist). They remark: “Skinner became a strong proponent of a behavioral

philosophy, maintaining that the psychology of learning should restrict itself to the study of

observable behaviors and environmental events” (2001:18). The way I am going to use behaviourism

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December 1, 2009                PROJECT PROPOSAL                      BY PETRA KRAVOS, 0716199

throughout the programme is through the use of objectives before beginning of each lesson and at

the end the user will be tested on what has it been learnt.

In contrast to behaviourism, “Cognitive psychology places emphasis on unobservable constructs,

such as the mind, memory, attitudes, motivation, thinking, reflection, and other presumed internal

processes.” (Allis and Trollip, 2001:19). These elements cannot simply be ignored in multimedia

learning environments. Therefore, in my programme I will take into consideration the theory of

memory and the way people think –cognitive style- together with the theory of learning styles and

strategies. I will also consider the perception and attention of the user.

Finally, constructivist theory puts emphasis of a knowledge construction by the learner: the learners

construct their own knowledge, by interpreting the world around them and processing the

information acquired. The learner actively engages with a learning process and does not just accept

the information which is given to him/her. As Ally summarizes : “Constructivist theorists claim that

learners interpret information and the world according to their personal reality, and that they learn

by observation, processing, and interpretation, and then personalize the information into personal

knowledge” (Cooper, 1993; Wilson, 1997, in Ally, 2004:7).

For what I want to achieve, I am planning to use a combination of all these pedagogical approaches,

which are going to be explained in details in later sections.

In a section about Slovenia I will follow these principles:

       Ask questions to keep the user’s attention

       Use of pictures/images (maps) to help the users information retention

       Use of associations (for example Wales vs. Slovenia – see p. 29) – refers to cognitivism

       Engage the user, not just give the information – use of constructivism

See the scamps of this section in Appendix B, pp. 27-29.

I will also look at the language pedagogy and draw the most important points from it and apply them

to the programme.

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December 1, 2009                PROJECT PROPOSAL                      BY PETRA KRAVOS, 0716199

6.1 Language pedagogy and computer-based instruction

Different theories of language learning exist today; some of the researchers and theorists writing

about different principles go back in the early 20th century, like for example Palmer who noted:

“The science of language-study does not exist, but it is high time that it should exist” (1968:3). Since

then, more research and theories have appeared, each taking a bit different approach, but it can be

seen that some of Palmer’s arguments are still valid today. In his book Palmer gives good directions

and advice on language teaching, which can be applied to interactive technology as well. He explores

the principles of linguistic pedagogy and points out some important points, which can be of use in

this day and age as well. Palmer states a general formula for the best method of learning a foreign


      A complete and ideal language method has a fourfold object, and this is to enable the

      student, in the shortest possible time and with the least effort, so to assimilate the

      materials of which the foreign language is composed that he is thereby enabled to

      understand what he hears and reads, and also to express himself correctly both by the

      oral and written mediums (Palmer, 1968:24).

Interactive technology would seem to be almost perfect language method from this point of view. It

would definitely help the student learn in the shortest possible time, as some of the findings show:

“*...+, it is widely accepted that computer-based instruction at least reduces the time spent learning.

Even if the learning itself is not better, reducing time is a benefit. Properly used, computers can

improve learning effectiveness and efficiency (Christmann,, 1997; Kulik & Kulik, 1991 in Allessi

and Trolip, 2001).”

However, in order for the learning to be effective and efficient, different pedagogical theories need

to be taken into consideration. There is no point for somebody to follow computer-based

instruction, but not actually have many benefits from it. The instruction may not be designed in a

way to enable the students to learn better and remember more. For this reason, my programme is

going to be designed in a way, which will maximise learning and remembering and this is where the

role of cognitivism seems very important.

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6.2. Use of cognitivism

6.2.1 Theory of memory

When we are learning, we are actually ‘feeding’ our mind with new knowledge and what we actually

have learnt depends really on how much we remember at the end. It is a lot to do with how well the

new information has been processed as well. While processing new information, two types of

memory are involved: short term or working memory and long term memory. Information-

processing theories claim that “information is stored initially in short-term memory and must be

used or organized to become stored more permanently in long-term memory” (Allesi and Trollip,


While designing the language learning programme, I will take into account how the theory of

memory works. Gregory and Parry stated: “Short-term memory can process a limited amount of

material for a short time. Information fades quickly and is forgotten unless there has been enough

impact or processing to transfer it to long-term memory. Without rehearsal or other forms of

processing, information remains in short-term memory for less than twenty seconds” (Peterson and

Peterson 1959, in Gregory and Parry, 2007:15). Gregory and Parry (2007) also mention the limited

capacity of short-term memory: it can handle only about seven separate pieces of information (plus

or minus two) at one time (Miller, 1956 in Gregory and Parry, 2007:15). This shows the importance

of how many pieces of information we present to the users without overloading their memory. It

seems that maximum five chunks of information are acceptable to present at one time. To put

theory in practice, when presenting the new words in a particular lesson, I will present 4-5 words in

a row first and then offer a way of rehearsing to the user (by asking the user different types of

questions). However, there are known techniques which enable people to improve their memory,

from use of associations, mental images, mnemonic technique and many more. Anderson for

example wrote: “When people see a picture, they tend to remember a meaningful interpretation of

it” (2005:142). He also points out that we can improve memory if we associate the items to be

remembered with a meaningful interpretation (p.146). These techniques may be very important in

language learning, where the users come across totally unfamiliar material and rote rehearsal will

not help learners to transfer the information into a long-term memory quickly. However, the

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learners may not be necessarily aware of how to improve their memory and their metacognitive

skills might be weak. Metacognition or “awareness of one’s own cognition” (Alessi and Trollip,

2001:28) seems be very important feature in learning. As Fisher (1998) explains:

         If we can bring the process of thinking and learning to a conscious level, and help
         students to become more reflective, then we can help them to gain control or
         mastery over the organization of their learning. On this view effective learning is
         not just the manipulation of information so that it is integrated into an existing
         knowledge base, but also involves directing one’s attention to what has been
         assimilated, understanding the relationship between the new information and
         what is already known, understanding the processes which facilitated this,[...]
         (in Georghiades, 2004, pp.368-369).

For this reason I will provide tips in each lesson (where appropriate), on how to remember the

information better and I will encourage the learners to think of their own learning and how they are

going to remember certain words. The option to type their own notes during the lesson will also be

available and this is where they may type their own tips on how to remember certain things.

Another aspect that needs to be taken into consideration in software pedagogy and design is also

the way people think and learn.

6.2.2 Cognitive styles and learning

People differ not only in physical appearances, but also in different styles of thinking and learning.

Cognitive style shows the way one individual thinks. Riding and Rayner (1998:8) comment:

“Cognitive style is seen as an individual’s preferred and habitual approach to organising and

representing information.” Ally (2004:14) supports this argument: “Cognitive style refers to a

learner’s preferred way of processing information; that is, the person’s typical mode of thinking,

remembering, or problem solving.” Riding and Rayner (1998) have identified four cognitive style

labels: analytic-verbaliser, analytic-imager, wholist-verbaliser and wholist-imager (p.4). From these

labels we can extract two main style dimensions: verbalisers, who learn best from textual content

and imager who learn best from pictorial presentation.

In multimedia learning environment wider range of presentation methods should be made available

to meet the needs of different styles of learning and to create more efficient learning environment.

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In terms of language learning, Plass (1998) examined visual and verbal learning preferences in a

second language multimedia learning environment. They made the following conclusions: learning

the translation of foreign words is best when students selected both visual and verbal modes of

instruction (p. 31); visualizers were more likely to produce a translation correctly when they

reported using a visual retrieval cue (...) than when they reported using a verbal retrieval cue (...),

whereas verbalizers were more likely to produce a translation correctly when they reported using a

verbal retrieval cue rather than a visual one (p.32).They also discovered that visualizers performed

better on propositions that allowed for visual and verbal annotations than on those that allowed

only for verbal annotations, whereas verbalizers performed well on both types of propositions (pp.

32-33). Regarding the comprehension tests they stated: “*...+ it seems that verbalizers do not need

visual information in addition to their preferred verbal type of information, whereas visualizers

perform worse when their preferred type of information is not available (p.33).

How can these findings be applied to interactive language learning programme?

I intend to consider different cognitive styles and learning preferences when producing the artefact.

To suit the visualizers, I will use a lot of pictures and visual cues to present the information. On many

screens I will use pictures together with the foreign text with an option to see the translation if

wanted, as this may help the verbalizers. I will also consider using text rollovers for the pictures.

Apart from this there is another factor to take into account when designing the lessons. In order to

produce an effective learning environment in a multimedia artefact we have to consider the way the

information is perceived by the learner and this is going to be discussed in the next section.

6.2.3 Perception and attention

According to Alessi and Trollip (2001) “learning begins with attention to and perception of

information in the learner’s environment” (p. 21). They state three principles relating to this:      “(1)

Information (...) must be easy to receive. (2) The position (...) of information affects our attention to

and perception of it. (3) Differences and changes attract and maintain attention” (p. 21). This shows

the principles that should be considered when designing educational software. Moreover, Clark and

Mayer (2008) explain that “all people have separate channels for processing verbal and pictorial

material”, and “each channel is limited in the amount of processing that can take place at one time”

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(p.121). From the presented material, learners build connections between pictorial and verbal

models. According to this theory adding redundant onscreen text to a multimedia presentation

could overload the visual channel (p.122). However, when it comes to language learning this

principle may not apply. Adding printed foreign text on the screen next to the picture, while

pedagogical coach is pronouncing it, will not depress the learning, but it will help instead. As Clark

and Mayer suggest: “Using dual modes of presentation can be helpful when the spoken material

may be hard to process, of if seeing and hearing the words provides a benefit (such as learning a

technical subject or foreign language” (2008:127). For this reason in my language learning

programme I will provide printed text together with the video where appropriate.

When it comes to the user’s attention during the learning process, we should also consider

coherence principle, which suggest avoiding adding any material that does not support the

instructional goal. Adding irrelevant graphics, facts, audio and video may harm the learning process.

Mayer and Clark examined the studies relating to this principle and found out that the learning is

better when sounds and music are excluded; when unrelated information is excluded and also when

unrelated graphics is excluded (2008, pp. 138-144). For this reason in my programme I will not add

any background music, any sound effects and irrelevant information. The graphics used will be

related to the words or phrases the users are learning at that moment. In this way the user’s

attention will not wander off to irrelevant material and de-concentrate the user. Moreover, the

printed text related to certain graphics will be positioned close to the graphics to promote better

learning. This is the method Clark and Mayer recommend (2008:90), called contiguity principle and

their recommendation is supported by several studies (Mayer, 1989b; Mayer, Steinhoff, Bower,

&Mars, 1995; Moreno & Mayer, 1999a).

In addition to theories from cognitive psychology, the multimedia learning environment should take

into account behaviourists’ and constructivists’ theories to be effective.

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6.3 Use of behaviourism

One of the ways of using the behaviourism in the programme will be by listing simple behavioural

objectives before the beginning of each lesson. These objectives will state what the learner will be

able to do, say or write at the end of the lesson. These objectives will have an important function of

motivating the user. As Alessi and Trollip explain:

          Well-written objectives can demonstrate the relevance of material to the learner.
          A tutorial should have a concise and accurate statement of objectives or goals,
          not necessarily in behavioral form. They should be stated in terms that learners
          can understand and should motivate learners by demonstrating relevance to
          their needs (2007:92).

At the end of a lesson or a tutorial I will also test the learner to determine whether they

have achieved the learning outcomes or not. The feedback from the test will enable the

user to monitor their learning and re-take the lesson if necessary.

6.4 Use of constructivism

As constructivists see “learners as being active rather than passive” (Ally, 2004:18) I will make sure

that the user will not be only receiving the information but will actively engage in the process, for

example by completing certain tasks, take tests and etc.( See scamps in Appendix B).

I will also enable the user to create their own notes when they are learning. They will have an option

to do this in every lesson. See Functionality Specification p. 42 ref. 7.1.1 for a detailed explanation of

this principle. This will help them to construct their own knowledge.

Another way of using constructivism will be by creating meaningful tasks for the users, as this will

produce better results by helping the learner to remember more. These tasks will come from real-

life situations, for example scenarios of people introducing themselves and saying where they are

from. As Ritter and Rüschoff point out: “It has been stated time and again that the best learning

results are achieved if learners work as much as possible with authentic and semi-authentic

materials which are being put in context of authentic, real-world-base situations or at least

simulations and thus supported by authentic tasks” (2001:226).

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7. Learner control in educational software

Another thing that needs to be carefully considered in the programme to create efficient learning is

learner control. What kind of control and how much control to provide in a programme may be

tricky as there are several studies in existence, all making different conclusions. Alessi and Trollip

(2001:51-52) explore the research and theories from different people. Some state that learner may

be able to make better sequencing decisions about their own learning activities than can teachers

(Bruner, 1966), others suggest that learners do not always make good decisions and that the more

control given to the learner, the more learning may suffer (Ayersman, 1995; Steinberg, 1989). At the

end Alessi and Trollip give some recommendations based on research to date (pp.52-53) and point

out that the most important learner controls concern sequence and pace. When the video and audio

is used, there should always be options to control these (allow to pause, continue, repeat, skip, etc.).

They also recommend giving learners with more content experience greater control than those with

little content experience.

My programme is intended for complete novice learners, who do not have any knowledge of the

language taught. I am going to build lessons in logical sequence and I will not want to allow the

learners to skip certain lessons, as the information provided in lessons in beginning will occur in later

lessons. For this reason, the learner control will be quite limited and will mostly relate to pacing,

control over video, audio and global controls. If the user has not completed the first lesson, they will

not be able to start the second one, and so. To quote from Clark and Mayer (2008:299): “A review of

research on learner versus program control concludes that learners with little prior knowledge of the

subject as well as poor metacognitive skills are likely to do better with program control – especially

in high-complexity courses” (Steinberg, 1989, in Clark and Mayer). Furthermore, Gay (1986) found

that low-prior-knowledge students learned more under program control (in Clark and Mayer,


8. Use of personalization principle

To give the programme some social presence I will use a pedagogical agent throughout the

programme. A pedagogical agent is “on-screen character who helps guide the learning process

during an e-learning episode” (Clark and Mayer, 2008:168). This agent will present information in

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December 1, 2009                 PROJECT PROPOSAL                       BY PETRA KRAVOS, 0716199

Slovenian – by pronouncing certain words and phrases – and will also give English explanations when

appropriate. This will help the learners engage more with the programme and will have some

positive effects on learning. Mayer and Clark recommend the use of pedagogical agents and they

also recommend using conversational style for speech rather than formal (2008:172); furthermore

they suggest use of first and second-person constructions. In my programme I will apply all these

recommendations when creating the character. I will also take into account what Palmer (1968)

mentions about gestures. He states that gestures are one of the four essential conditions of

subconscious work (p.93). So I will get the character to use a lot of gestures when talking together

with facial expressions, as in this way she will be better understood, as Palmer remarks, when

writing about gestures.

9. The structure of my program through a flowchart and scamps

                                                           As previously mentioned the programme will

                                                           have two major sections, one will focus on

                                                           language learning and the other will focus on

                                                           learning about Slovenia (See Figure 3). The

                                                           section where the user learns about Slovenia

                                                           will enable the user to move from screen to

                                                           screen, learning about different facts. On

                                                           these screens the user will also be required
Figure 3: Main menu
to engage in a presentation of information by answering certain questions. See the scamps of this

section in Appendix B, p. 27-28. At the end of the tutorial, they will be able to navigate to test

section to see what they have learnt.

The way language learning section will be structured is a bit different to the country section. First of

all, the user will be able to create an account with their own username and password, so that when

they log in back to this section, the programme will tell them where they are left. Once they log in,

they will get a list of lessons, but they will not be able to access them all. See Functionality

specification in Appendix D, p.40 ref 6.3.0 for detailed explanation. The lessons will be as follow:

       Slovenian alphabet and the pronunciation of the letters

       Introduction to Slovenian grammar

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December 1, 2009                 PROJECT PROPOSAL                      BY PETRA KRAVOS, 0716199

       First nouns: people and objects

       Greetings (Good morning, good evening, hello, bye, etc.)

       The verb “to be” (learning: jaz sem, ti si, on/ona je, etc.)

       Who is this/What is this? …. This is…

       Introducing yourself

       Where are you from/I am from… ; some of the countries in Slovenian

       Numerals 1-10

Each lesson will have the same structure, starting with objectives, followed by presentation of

information, some activities and at the end there will be a test where the user can check how much

they have learnt. On the results screen the user will get an explanatory feedback – see the

Functionality Specification p.42 ref. 7.3.0. The advantage of this kind of feedback is discussed in Clark

and Mayer (2008). They explain that explanatory feedback does not only tell the learner what is

wrong but also why is wrong (2008:238). Clark and Mayer also look at the studies by Moreno (2004)

and Moreno and Mayer (2005), which show that explanatory feedback results in much better

learning than corrective feedback (pp. 239-240). Hence, the reason for using this type of feedback in

my programme.

They way different sections will be connected is shown in the flowchart – see the Appendix C p.31.

                                                                                           Page 18 of 42
December 1, 2009                PROJECT PROPOSAL                     BY PETRA KRAVOS, 0716199


Alessi, M.S. and Trollip, S.R. (2007) Multimedia for Learning: methods and development. 3rd ed.,
Massachusetts: Ally&Bacon.

Ally, M. (2004) Foundations of Educational Theory For Online Learning. In Anderson, T. And Elloumi,
F. (eds.) The Theory and Practice of Online Learning. Canada: Athabasca University, pp. 3-31.

Anderson, J.R. (2005) Cognitive psychology and its implications. 6th ed., New York: Worth.

Clark, R.C. and Mayer, R.E. (2008) E-learning and the Science of Instruction: Proven guidelines for
consumers and designers of multimedia learning. 2nd ed., California: Pffeiffer.

Crawford, C. (2003) The Art of Interactive Design : A Euphonious and Illuminating Guide to Building
Successful Software. San Francisco, CA, USA: No Starch Press, Incorporated.

Euro Talk Ltd (no date) Talk Now Slovenian [online]. [accessed 20th October 2009]. Accessed on:

Georghiades, Petros(2004) From the general to the situated: three decades of metacognition.
International Journal of Science Education, 26(3), pp. 365-383.

Gregory, G.H. and Parry, T. (2005) Designing brain-compatible learning. 3rd. Ed., California: Corwin

Palmer, H.E. (1968) The scientific study and teaching of languages (D. Harper, ed.). London: Oxford
University Press. (Original work published 1917)

Plass, J., Chun, D., Mayer, R.E. and Leutner, D. (1998) Supporting Visual and Verbal Learning
Preferences in a Second-Language Multimedia Learning Environment. Journal of Educational
Psychology, 90(1), pp. 25-36.

Riding, R. And Rayner, S. (1998) Cognitive Styles and Learning Strategies: Understanding Style
Differences in Learning and Behaviour. London: David Fulton Publishers.

Rüschoff, B. and Ritter, M. (2001) Technology-enhanced language learning: Construction of
knowledge and template-based learning in the foreign language classroom. Computer Assisted
Language Learning, 14(3-4), pp. 219-232.

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               APPENDIX A:
            SOME OF THE ONLINE

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            APPENDIX B:

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                   APPENDIX C:

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                     APPENDIX D:

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     December 1, 2009             PROJECT PROPOSAL                   BY PETRA KRAVOS, 0716199

     Functionality specification: Learn Slovenian and about Slovenia

   Ref        Function/Feature      Attribute              Details

                                                           Screen with the title describing
                                                           what the programme and also
1.0.0       TITLE SCREEN
                                                           given the user option to exit if they
                                                           came here by mistake.

                                    Continue               Takes the user to the main menu

                                    Exit                   Quits the programme.

2.0.0       Main menu

                                                           Takes the user to the language
            Menu options            Learn Slovenian
                                                           learning section (ref. 3.0.0)
                                                           Takes the user to the country
                                    Discover Slovenia

                                    Exit programme         Quits the programme.

                                                           Takes the user to another screen
                                    About the programme
                                                           explaining the programme.
                                                           Text explains to the user what the
3.0.0.      About the programme                            programme is about and different

                                    Exit                   Quits the programme.

                                                           This button takes the user back to
                                                           main menu.

4.0.0       Discover Slovenia

                                                           Starts a short learning path about
4.0.1       Menu options            Learn about Slovenia

                                    Test your knowledge    Takes the user to quiz section

                                    Exit                   Quits the programme

                                                           This section will have 5 linear
                                                           screens teaching the user about
                                                           Slovenia and asking simple
Learn about Slovenia                                       questions. On every screen user
                                                           can exit the programme and has
                                                           options of going to another section
                                                           of the programme.

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    December 1, 2009             PROJECT PROPOSAL                       BY PETRA KRAVOS, 0716199

   Ref       Function/Feature       Attribute                 Details

                                                              Here we have a map of Europe and
                                                              the user is asked to point out to
                                                              the country which they think is
4.1.0      Learn about Slovenia Screen 1- Slovenia location   Slovenia. At the bottom of the
                                                              screen we have text telling the user
                                                              how many more screens is to go. In
                                                              this case it writes: “Screen 1 of 7”.

                                    Main menu                 Takes the user to ref. 2.0.0

                                                              Takes the user to the quiz about
4.1.1      Navigation options       Test your knowledge

                                    Exit                      Quits the programme

                                                              Map with clickable sections in
                                                              Central and Eastern Europe. Once
                                                              the user clicks on certain country,
                                                              this country gets highlighted. They
                                                              can change their mind as well once
                                    Europe map
                                                              they selected one country, so they
                                                              choose another one and in this
                                                              case this country gets highlighted
                                                              and the other is not highlighted
                                                              Once the user has made their
                                                              choice, they can press continue
                                                              button which will take them to the
                                                              screen showing the correct answer.
                                                              If the user hasn’t chosen any
                                                              country, then if they press the
                                                              ‘continue’ button, they get a
                                                              message, asking them to choose
                                                              one country. They need to select
                                                              something in order to continue.
                                                              Depending on if the user has made
4.2.0      Screen 2 Slovenia location – answer feedback       the right choice, different message
                                                              is given.
                                    Correct answer            “Well done! You know where
                                    message                   Slovenia is located.”
                                                              “That was the wrong answer!”
                                    Wrong answer
                                                              Arrow pointing to where Slovenia
                                                              actually is and highlighting it.
                                                              Takes the user to the next screen.
                                                              (ref. 4.3.0)

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    December 1, 2009               PROJECT PROPOSAL                   BY PETRA KRAVOS, 0716199

   Ref       Function/Feature           Attribute           Details

           Navigation                                       See ref. 4.1.1

                                                            This screen is pointing out at the
                                                            shape of Slovenia, which looks a bit
                                                            like chicken. For those users who
           Screen 3 – Slovenia’s
4.3.0                                                       have answered the previous
                                                            question incorrectly, this will be a
                                                            good way to remember how to find
                                                            Slovenia on Europe map.
                                                            Once the user goes over with the
                                        Slovenia map
                                                            mouse it changes to a chicken.

                                        Continue            Takes the user to the next screen.

           Navigation                                       See ref. 4.1.1.

                                                            This screen asks the user what they
                                                            think how big Slovenia is. The user
                                                            can choose from 4 answers. The
                                                            answer which they choose gets
4.4.0      Screen 4 - Slovenia’s size
                                                            highlighted. If they choose another
                                                            answer, that answer will get
                                                            highlighted and the other won’t be
                                                            highlighted anymore.

                                        Size of Wales       This is a correct answer.

                                        Size of England     Wrong answer
                                        Size of Scotland    Wrong answer

                                        Size of Northern
                                                            Wrong answer
                                                            After selecting the answer, the user
                                                            can click on this button to check it.
                                        Check your answer   They will be told if they answered
                                                            correctly or incorrectly below the
                                                            This button takes the user to the
                                                            next screen (ref. 4.5.0)

           Navigation                                       See ref. 4.1.1.

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    December 1, 2009               PROJECT PROPOSAL               BY PETRA KRAVOS, 0716199

   Ref       Function/Feature         Attribute         Details

                                                        This screen explains to the user
                                                        that Slovenia is roughly the same
                                                        size as Wales and it will have
4.5.0      Screen 5 - Slovenia’s size – size of Wales
                                                        outline maps of both countries on.
                                                        It will also state the exact size of
                                                        the country.

                                      Continue          Takes the user to screen 4.6.0

           Navigation                                   See ref. 4.1.1.

                                                        On this screen we have a map of
                                                        Slovenia, with its neighbour
4.6.0      Screen 6 - Slovenia’s neighbour countries    countries. The user is given the
                                                        information of which these
                                                        countries are.

                                      Continue          Takes the user to screen 4.7.0

                                      Navigation        See ref. 4.1.1.

                                                        The user is told what the capital of
                                                        Slovenia is. Slovenia map here
                                                        again with the capital in the
                                                        middle. Also a nice picture of the
4.7.0      Screen 7 - Slovenia’s capital
                                                        capital is given. We ask the user a
                                                        question, how are they going to
                                                        remember this capital and give
                                                        them some suggestions.
                                                        The user can go over the text
                                                        ‘Ljubljana’ with the mouse so they
                                      Capital (text)
                                                        can hear the pronunciation of the

                                      Continue          Takes the user to screen 5.1.7

                                      Navigation        See ref. 4.1.1.

                                                        The final screen in this section tells
                                                        the user that they completed the
                                                        learning about basic information
4.8.0      “Complete” screen
                                                        about Slovenia and invites the user
                                                        to take the quiz to see how much
                                                        they have learnt.
                                                        Takes the user to the quiz section
                                      Take a quiz
                                                        ref. 5.0.0

                                                        See ref. 4.1.1.

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    December 1, 2009             PROJECT PROPOSAL                  BY PETRA KRAVOS, 0716199

   Ref        Function/Feature     Attribute             Details

                                                         This section will consist of 5
                                                         questions of different types. Some
                                                         of them will be multiple choice,
Test your knowledge
                                                         others will require user input. In
                                                         this section navigation options will
                                                         be the same on every screen.
                                                         It explains the user what the quiz is
5.0.0      Start screen                                  about and how many questions it
                                                         Begins the quiz, takes the user to
                                                         the first question.

5.0.1      Navigation options      Exit                  Quits the programme

                                                         Takes the user to the main menu of
                                   Main menu
                                                         the programme (ref. 2.0.0)
                                                         Where is Slovenia?
                                                         Text at the bottom telling the user
5.1.0      Question 1                                    that this is question 1 of 5. The
                                                         same principle is for the rest of the
                                                         User to click on the map on where
                                   Europe map
                                                         they think Slovenia is.
                                                         Takes the user to the next question
                                                         (ref. 5.2.0)

           Navigation                                    See ref. 5.0.1

5.2.0      Question 2              Multiple choice       What is the size of Slovenia?

                                                         User can click on any of the
                                                         answers, once one answer is
                                   4 answers to choose   clicked on it gets highlighted, but
                                   from                  the user can still choose other
                                                         answer and this time the other
                                                         answer gets highlighted.
                                                         Takes the user to the next question
                                                         (ref. 5.3.0)

           Navigation                                    See ref. 5.0.1

5.3.0      Question 3              Multiple choice       Neighbourhood countries

                                                         User to choose the correct answer
                                   4 answers
                                                         from the list.
                                                         Takes the user to the next
                                   Continue              question. Ref 5.4.0

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    December 1, 2009            PROJECT PROPOSAL             BY PETRA KRAVOS, 0716199

   Ref       Function/Feature      Attribute       Details

5.4.0      Question 4                              Slovenia capital

           Navigation                              See ref. 5.0.1

5.5.0      Question 5

           Navigation                              See ref. 5.0.1

                                                   This button takes the user to ref.
                                                   The screen showing how well the
                                                   user did. It will show the number of
                                                   correct and incorrect answers, but
5.6.0      Results
                                                   also if there was any incorrect
                                                   answers it will tell the user the
                                                   correct answer.
                                                   Button to take the user to the
                                   Try again
                                                   beginning of the quiz. Ref. 5.1.0

           Navigation                              See ref. 5.0.1


                                                   The old user can login here and the
6.0.0      First screen                            new user has an option to create a
                                                   new account.
                                                   User types in the username they’ve
                                                   chosen when they registered. If
6.0.1                              Username        they type in the incorrect
           Old User login                          username, the message will then
                                                   appear when they try and log in.
                                                   The password which user has
                                                   After pressing the button, the
                                                   programme checks that the
                                                   username and password are
                                                   correct and if they are not, the
6.0.2      Navigation              Continue
                                                   appropriate messages will be
                                                   displayed. If they are correct, the
                                                   user will be taken to welcome
                                                   This button takes the user to ref.
                                   Main menu

                                   Exit            This will quit the programme.

6.1.0      New User – create an account

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    December 1, 2009            PROJECT PROPOSAL                BY PETRA KRAVOS, 0716199

   Ref       Function/Feature      Attribute          Details

                                                      User to type in his username,
6.1.1                              Username           which must be at least 5 characters
                                                      Password must be at least 6
           Details to enter                           characters long.
                                                      This field has to match with the
                                                      previously entered password;
                                   Confirm password
                                                      otherwise an error message is
                                                      Checks the entered information
6.1.2                              Continue           and takes the user to the welcome
                                                      screen for the new user.
           Navigation                                 This button takes the user to ref.
                                   Main menu

                                   Exit               This will quit the programme.

                                                      Explains to the user a bit about the
                                                      way the course is structured and
                                                      where to get help. It invites the
                                                      user to start with lesson 1. Other
6.2.0      Welcome screen for the new user
                                                      lessons will not be available just
                                                      yet, therefore will be greyed out.
                                                      The user has to follow specific
                                                      order for the lessons.
                                                      This button takes the user to ref.
                                   Main menu
                                                      2.0.0. It keeps the user signed in.
                                                      Logs the user out and take them to
                                   Log out            the main menu of the programme
                                                      ref. 2.0.0.

                                   Exit               This will quit the programme.

                                                      Screen to welcome the user by
                                                      their name and to advise the user
                                                      where they are left in the course,
                                                      which lesson they should continue
                                                      with. Here we will have a list of all
6.3.0      Welcome screen for the old user
                                                      of the lessons, but the user cannot
                                                      go to the lessons which come after
                                                      the lesson which s/he is due to
                                                      complete. However, he can revisit
                                                      the lessons previously completed.
                                                      This button takes the user to ref.
                                   Main menu
                                                      Logs the user out and take them to
                                   Log out            the main menu of the programme
                                                      ref. 2.0.0.

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    December 1, 2009               PROJECT PROPOSAL             BY PETRA KRAVOS, 0716199

   Ref          Function/Feature     Attribute        Details

                                     Exit             This will quit the programme.

                                                      The design in every single lesson or
                                                      tutorial will be the same. Every
                                                      lesson will start with objectives.
                                                      We will have main controls to the
                                                      left of the main lesson screen. Each
                                                      lesson will have many different
Lesson area
                                                      screens and the progress will be
                                                      indicated at the bottom by saying
                                                      on which screen we are. There will
                                                      be 12 lessons in total. For the
                                                      presentation of information, a
                                                      pedagogical agent will be used.

Standard lesson structure

                                                      Every lesson will start with this
7.0.0         Objectives screen                       screen introducing simple
                                                      objectives of the lesson.
                                                      Takes the user to the start of the
                                                      lesson. Ref. 7.1.0
                                                      Takes the user back to the
                                                      welcome screen. Ref. 6.3.0.

7.1.0         Lesson screen

                                                      Takes the user to the Welcome
              Main controls          Main menu
                                                      screen ref. 6.3.0
                                                      Signs the user out and quits the
                                                      Opens in a new window, where the
                                     Your notes       user can add a new note or edit
                                                      previous notes. See ref. 7.1.1.

                                     Help             Opens in a new window.

                                                      Opens in a new window and
                                                      gives the learner different tips
                                                      about the learning process and
                                                      how to remember things better.
                                                      The user can increase/decrease the
                                     Volume control
                                                      volume here.
                                                      Takes the user to the next screen in
              Screen navigation      Next
                                                      the tutorial.
                                                      Takes the user to the previous
                                                      screen in the tutorial, but when we
                                                      are on the first screen, this is not

                                                                                    Page 40 of 42
    December 1, 2009            PROJECT PROPOSAL             BY PETRA KRAVOS, 0716199

   Ref       Function/Feature     Attribute        Details

7.1.1      Your notes window

                                                   Opens in a new screen, where the
                                                   user can type in the title of the
           Options                Add a new note
                                                   note, the text and then they can
                                                   save it.
                                                   If there is any previously saved
                                                   notes, the user will be able to see
                                  Previous notes   them in a scrollable list, where the
                                                   description and the date will be
                                                   Once the user selects previously
                                  View             saved note, they can then press the
                                                   view button to see it.
                                                   The old notes can be deleted if the
                                                   user wishes.
                                                   Closes the window, takes the user
                                                   back to the lesson area.
                                                   After the user has gone through all
                                                   of the screens in certain lesson,
                                                   they will then be able to take a test
                                                   to check how much they’ve learnt.
7.2.0      End of lesson test
                                                   The type of questions will vary and
                                                   once the user has answered one
                                                   question and moved to the next
                                                   one, then they cannot go back.
                                                   Takes the user to the next question
                                                   or when the question is the last
                                                   one, then the user goes to see the
                                                   Takes the user to welcome screen,
                                  Main menu        where they can choose to re-do
                                                   certain lesson.
                                                   Sign the user out and quits the
                                                   At the end of the test the user will
                                                   be told how well they did, showing
                                                   the percentage and the number of
7.3.0      Results screen                          correct answers. Their answers will
                                                   be compared to the answers stored
                                                   in a computer, so the user can see
                                                   what they’ve done wrong and why.
                                                   Sign the user out and quits the

   Ref       Function/Feature     Attribute        Details

                                                                               Page 41 of 42
    December 1, 2009      PROJECT PROPOSAL           BY PETRA KRAVOS, 0716199

                                             Invites the user to continue with
                                             the next lesson.
                                             Takes the user to the welcome
                                             screen where they can repeat
                            Main menu
                                             lessons or choose the next lesson
                                             in row.
                                             Once the user has gone through all
                                             of the lessons, then they can take
                                             the final test, which questions
                                             come from across all of the lessons.
                                             They won’t be able to look at their
7.4.0      Final test
                                             notes during this test. The test is
                                             going to be at the end of the list of
                                             all of the lessons and the user will
                                             be able to take it only once they
                                             complete all of the lessons.
                                             Logs out the user and quits the
                                             Takes the user to the main menu of
                            Main menu
                                             the programme. Ref. 2.0.0
                                             Test specific help opens in a new
                                             Takes the user to the next
                                             Screen with the score, showing the
7.5.0      Test results                      number of correct answers and
                                             Logs out the user and quits the
                                             Takes the user to the screen with
                            Welcome screen
                                             the list of all the lessons.

                            Main menu        Takes the user to ref. 2.0.0

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