Prof. Dr. Christian Spannagel

 

Usage Processes in Learning and Teaching With Computers (May 2006)

Today, computers are used in a lot of learning and teaching contexts. When using a software for the presentation of slides containing the learning contents teachers use the computer as an aid. When learning how to work with a file system starters use a computer as learning content. When using a spreadsheet software in mathematics class and learning how to use it at the same time, pupils use a computer as aid and learning content.

In all of these cases learners and teachers use software - they are performing usage processes. Usage processes can be part of various actions of learning and teaching. Learners can watch a usage process, that is a learning action, which is shown by the teacher with the help of a beamer, that is a teaching action. If the actions should be performed in situations in which the participating persons are not at the same place at the same time, then the usage processes have to be saved and transported through a data network. They have to be represented in media.

This thesis will create a concept for a tool and develop it that allows the representation of usage processes in media and that supports the performance of usage process oriented actions of learning and teaching in numerous contexts. Requirements for the tool will be derived from action descriptions and design regulations based in cognitive psychology. The realisation of the requirements will be described and how the tool should used will be explained with a few examples.

Also, an empirical study was done for this thesis. Two support scenarios of the tool were examined when using spreadsheet software in class. These were animated demonstrations of user behaviour and user interfaces that had been reduced in complexity. The influence of support scenarios on various variables, for example usage behaviour and learning success, was studied in interaction with the computer self-efficacy of the test subjects. Planning, performing, and the results of the study will be presented in detail.

Ideas for further didactic development, empirical approaches for investigation, that are based in the study described here, and future technical extensions complete this thesis.