Developing links between computer aided learning and design and technology teaching

2006-03-15T11:14:39Z (GMT) by Tony Hodgson
This paper discusses the potential for using Computer Aided Learning (CAL) as a means of developing design and technology capability. CAL is seen to be particularly attractive as a means of providing learning at the point of need, to simulate technological activity and to bring design contexts into the classroom. Although CAL has not always enjoyed a good reputation, recent developments in multimedia technology and ‘flexible learning methods’ suggest a clear role for its use in design and technology teaching. In order to make effective use of flexible learning materials which aim to provide alternative learning routes it is usual, if not necessary, to link some assessment of learner capability with the management and use of the learning materials. The paper suggests how computer based assessment of previous learning and computer aided learning materials would contribute towards developing design and technology teaching. Finally, a case study of conventional diagnostic testing is described, followed by a proposed computer based model which aims to enhance the more conventional approach by: determining a clearer indication of capability, suggesting a ‘level’ or ‘model’ of understanding when knowledge is applied to design situations. providing immediate student feedback and suggested learning routes through ‘flexible learning materials’. providing collated student data to tutors for the purposes of informing their teaching, thus enabling the provision of appropriate teaching which will focus on real, rather than perceived, student needs