The Working Group attempted to identify existing standards applicable to the design of educational software in dentistry. Unfortunately, currently no such standards exist. The Working Group then reviewed the educational literature to develop recommendations for computer-based educational software.
The recommendations for educational software cover two levels. The first level is applicable to any type of educational software, while the second is specific to certain types of software (such as tutorials, drills, games and simulations). This Website only covers guidelines for the first level.
Quality standards applicable to any type of software include Pedagogical Issues; Subject Matter; Language, Grammar, and Format; Surface Features; Assessment; Feedback; Invisible Functions; Off-line Materials; Evaluation; and Other. Pedagogical Issues address aspects such as: Is the computer appropriate for the type of materials? To what degree can users control aspects of the software (such as flow and pacing)? How are users motivated? How do they interact with the software? Is the use of multimedia appropriate? Subject Matter covers content-related aspects of the software, such as goals and objectives, information presented, content emphasis, and organization and sequence. Language, Grammar, and Format includes aspects such as reading level, cultural bias, technical terms, spelling, grammar, punctuation, and formatting and layout. Surface Features consist of esthetics, look and feel, presentation modes, basic control features, and user input. Assessment addresses how the software should assess learning outcomes and how the user interacts with the software to demonstrate those. Invisible Functions address software functions that are not visible to the user, such as record keeping within the program, security and accessibility, and the ability of the program to restart after failure. Off-line Materials provides guidelines for materials that accompany the software, such as manuals and workbooks. Evaluation covers the important aspects of formative and summative evaluation. A recently added category, Other, provides a classification for criteria that cannot be directly associated with any of the previous category. Over time, items from the Other category may be grouped into new categories.
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Created: January 12, 1999 Revised: