Computer Science and Educational Software Design: A Resource for Multidisciplinary Work in Technology Enhanced Learning
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Developing educational software requires thinking, problematizing, representing, modeling, implementing and analyzing pedagogical objectives and issues, as well as conceptual models and software architectures. Computer scientists face the difficulty of understanding the particular issues and phenomena to be taken into account in educational software projects and of avoiding a naïve technocentered perspective. On the other hand, actors with backgrounds in human or social sciences face the difficulty of understanding software design and implementation issues, and how computer scientists engage in these tasks.
Tchounikine argues that these difficulties cannot be solved by building a kind of “general theory” or “general engineering methodology” to be adopted by all actors for all projects: educational software projects may correspond to very different realities, and may be conducted within very different perspectives and with very different matters of concern. Thus the issue of understanding each others’ perspectives and elaborating some common ground is to be considered in context, within the considered project or perspective. To this end, he provides the reader with a framework and means for actively taking into account the relationships between pedagogical settings and software, and for working together in a multidisciplinary way to develop educational software.
His book is for actors engaged in research or development projects which require inventing, designing, adapting, implementing or analyzing educational software. The core audience is Master’s and PhD students, researchers and engineers from computer science or human and social sciences (e.g., education, psychology, pedagogy, philosophy, communications or sociology) interested in the issues raised by educational software design and analysis and in the variety of perspectives that may be adopted.
Software Design 21 (e.g., the importance of learning-by-doing) to very precise ones (e.g., the fact JavIT should consider learners’ zone of proximal development14). 4.2.3 The Impact of Pedagogical Considerations on Design An important dimension is to clarify which of the objects considered at the level of the pedagogical setting are taken into account in the software design. For instance, Colab-edit rationale is related to the fact that learners may learn from one another by arguing and
considered, TEL is to be addressed within different 2 In recent years, the term Computer Science has in some places been supplanted by the term Informatics, a term giving more importance to the human and social aspect of computer systems design, usage and evaluation. However, we will stick to the term Computer Science, which is widely accepted (the term Informatics is subject to different interpretations whose discussion is not a matter of concern in this book). In this book, Computer Science
projecting educational issues onto a technical plan: there is not a pedagogical idea on the one side and CS work on the other, but co-constructions. 3 Conclusions 109 Within this view, the specific skill of TEL-oriented computer scientists (or, in other words, TEL-specialists with a background in CS) is the capacity to pertinently address the conceptual zone within which occur the education/CS interplays. In the case of innovation, it consists of the capacity of interpreting and analyzing in
engineer, etc. 1 General Picture 1.5 7 Non-definitional Character of Software Independently of whether software has been designed for a pedagogical setting, software is not definitional of this setting. Pedagogical settings are socio-technical systems, they involve humans and artifacts (the setting as such, the more general institutional, human and material features within which this setting takes place, the resources offered to learners and teachers, etc.). Software may be meant to play
importance to the development of characterizing means (see Chap. 7) and to the traceability dimension, i.e., maintaining a correspondence between models and artifacts that allows one to interpret the influence of software on the way settings unfold (see Chap. 8, Sect. 2). Another important dimension is the acknowledgement of the consequences of the fact that TEL is to a large extent an experimental field. One of these is the importance of evaluating design decisions in the context of effective