Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education
Interactive courseware not only provides learners with adequate support and stimulated features which inspire learners with active, constructive, attitudes toward message/activities embedded in courseware, but also encourage learners in the engagement of meaningful incorporation of information into their existing cognitive structure. Hence, interactive World Wide Web (WWW) courseware is an alternative approach to provide ideal learning opportunities that empower the symbol systems and mental processing capabilities of learners. However, it is only when explicit use is made of new natures of the interactive WWW that the "new" instructional media would add multiple value to human learning. The learning context of the interactive WWW can evoke the learner's creation of analogies from previous experiences. The courseware interfaces to interactive courseware is the only channel where a learner has access to the learning opportunities provided by the courseware in terms of information content, medium elements, interactive learning activities, and functionality. Therefore, the quality of interface to courseware is a matter of vital importance to its learning effectiveness. This article describes the construction of medium elements and messages with various motivation factors in a guided-discovery edutainment, The Heart of Earth courseware for elementary science designed and developed by the author in Taiwan. The courseware uses interactive dynamics involving animation and role-play-game approach. The combined features of learning-by-doing andl learning-by-viewing approaches form a discovery environment where a learner can construct personal meaning by attempting to interpret and explain time and space concepts of earth science from personal exploration, experiences, and understanding.
Journal of Computers in Mathematics and Science Teaching 20(4), pp.367-376