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  Feature Name: Pedagogica--a tool for embedding tools and models into educational...
Author: Robert Tinker

Category: Inquiry Tools: Guided inquiry

Subject: Others

Kind: Work Environment

 Elementary School
 Middle School
 High School
 Higher Education
 Teachers & Principals


Software URL: Pedagogica

Created by: The Concord Consortium

Reference URL

This Feature is connected to (1) Principles
  • Reduce visual complexity to help learners recognize salient information
    Feature in Visual Map
    Pedagogica controls all aspects of a tool or model and can coordinate other multimedia resources with the software to create a powerful sequence of learning activities. It controls the opening screen or initial conditions, the options available to the user, and the surrounding environment which can include other applications, Flash, QuickTime, text, questions, or responses. Applications can talk to one another, so that, for instance, a probe can generate data for a molecular simulation. Pedagogica can also monitor student actions and responses and generate research data and assessments based on these data. Finally, Pedagogica also controls what comes next, which can be one or more Pedagogica screens. Pedagogica is controlled by a script written in JavaScript.
    The Rationale Behind the Feature (Specific Design Principle):
    Tools/models and their educational uses should be separated. Attempts to integrate educational applications into general-purpose tools and models results in compromises and decisions that limit their educational value. Either they are too complex for the beginner or too limited for the expert. Too often the guidance provided to students is too general or inappropriate.
    Context of Use:
    In spite of the best educational theory, we find the need repeatedly to fine-tune the guidance provided to students on the basis of classroom observation. Because Pedagogica is scripted, we can easily change the way a lesson works overnight and be in the classroom the next day with a revised lesson.
    Field-based Evidence:
    Horwitz, P., & Christie, M. (1999). Hypermodels: Embedding curriculum and assessment in computer-based manipulatives. Journal of Education, 181(2), 1-23.
    Horwitz, P., & Tinker, R. (2001). Pedagogica to the rescue: A short history of hypermodels. @CONCORD, (The Concord Consortium) 5(1), 1, 12-13.
    Tinker, R. (2001a). Hypermodels: New tools for learning. @CONCORD, (The Concord Consortium) 5(1), 2-3.
    Tinker, R. (2001b, Aug. 9). Molecular dynamics hypermodels: Supporting student inquiry across the sciences. Paper presented at the Gordon Research Conference on Science Education and Visualizations, Mt Holyoke College.