THE ELEMENTS OF CAL
David Godfrey and Sharon Sterling.
Volume 11 Number 4.
Are you interested in finding out the components of instructionally sound computer software that will assist in the learning process? Would you like to learn the steps in designing and creating CAL software? Dr. David Godfrey, educator and author of Gutenberg Two (Porcépic, 1980) and The Telidon Book (Porcépic, 1981), and Sharon Sterling, special education teacher, researcher, and author of courseware, have written this book "to encourage teachers, employers, parents, students and librarians to seriously reconsider their roles in the learning process and to use the available technologies to improve the whole of that process."
They have created IMPS (Instructional Management and Presentation System), a nine-layered method of creating software of which only the last two stages involve programmers and program languages. This means that, after it is designed, the software can be written in any suitable language (Apple Pascal, PET BASIC, C, APL) for any machine that can accommodate it, anywhere from a Commodore 64 (an 8-bit micro with 64K of memory) to a high-range machine such as a VAX 11/780. The software to be written may be anywhere from a simple program to be used in a classroom to complicated courseware to be used in a large network. If readers are writing simple programs or interested only in learning the components of good design, they may wish to use only parts of this book.
Chapters 12 to 15 lead the reader through two practical applications of the IMPS system, one program in mathematics, one in words. Each application begins with objectives, proceeds with planning teaching strategies, mapping, tracking, screen design, planning student and author support structures, and planning implementation to suit variations of needs. Finally, both programs are coded in Apple Pascal. It would be more useful to have used BASIC for one of the programs as it is more widely known among microcomputer users.
The book is not easy to read. The reader needs to have expertise in at least one programming language and a vocabulary of the terms and names used in this field. Although a glossary has been provided, there are many words that are not explained.
Experts have compiled an extensive bibliography of materials they consider to be "the most valid and important." An entry on page 261, under J. Richard Dennis, omits the title of a very useful series of documents, The Illinois Series on Educational Application of Computers.
I would recommend this book to any professional with a background knowledge in the subject who is seriously interested in investigating the topic in depth. It would be useful as a text for a course in' designing and writing CAL software or a course in computers in the classroom.
Jean Farquharson, Brantford C. I. & V. S., Brant ford, ON.
1971-1979 | 1980-1985 | 1986-1990 | 1991-1995
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