Source: Journal of Technology and Teacher Education, Volume 19, Issue 1, January 2011, 45-72.
The authors describe reflections from two cycles of developmental research that involved creating and refining a series of computer-based applets for reasoning about the relative magnitude of fractional quantities.
The applet sequence stemmed from a cognitively demanding task used in face-to-face teacher education settings that involved placing sets of fractions on a number line.
In order to bring the activity online, the instructors and programmer created interface features that attempted to instantiate some of the effective pedagogical strategies that were observed in the face to face sessions.
The results indicated that the intent of many of these features did serve their intended pedagogical purposes.
In particular, features such as strategic hint tools and nonjudgmental feedback enhanced users’ experiences.
However, non-interactive aspects, such as written reflection questions, did not enhance users’ experiences.
These results and the accompanying design framework provide a new perspective for helping prospective and practicing teachers employ sound pedagogy when using innovative applets in their learning and, ultimately, future teaching.